[REBOL] Re: Licensing, components ... Re: REBOL FAQ updated
From: carl:cybercraft at: 17-Sep-2002 22:58
On 15-Sep-02, Ed O'Connor wrote:
> Cross-platform capability is a solution to a problem
> that affects a relatively small percentage of
> developers in the desktop world. It mainly affects the
> ability of a language to survive platform extinctions;
> it has little affect on popularity or profitability
> (despite what Sun marketing has drilled into our
I don't see the free REBOLs as a solution to a problem, though they
might be for some. I see them as allowing us to create something
new. Is the WWW a solution to a problem? Maybe some problems, but
it's much more than just the solution to some problems, isn't it? If
those webpages were all OS-specific though, the Web would be a lesser
place I think.
> --- Carl Read <[carl--cybercraft--co--nz]> wrote:
>> I've said this before, but allowing the launching of
>> OS-specific apps from the free REBOLs is a recipe
>> for producing an OS-specific REBOL.
>> It just needs someone to produce a cool Window's
>> add-on for REBOL, and every second REBOL script on
>> the Net will be a Windows-only REBOL script.
> Look, cross-platform compatibility is a feature; it
> shouldn't be a mandate. It is not the end-all be all
> of software. If a commercial vendor is aligned with
> the goals of the programmer, the vendor stands to reap
> potential benefits from the relationship. The
> dysfunctional version of this is, "If the programmer
> is aligned with the goals of the vendor, the vendor
> stands to reap potential benefits."
None of which has anything to do with a "free" interpreter running
free scripts directly from the Net. I don't see why the Pro versions
of REBOL have to be free for those wishing to use them for commercial
> Programmers/designers write scripts to serve their own
> goals, not those of anyone else. If a programmer
> doesn't particularly care about audiences beyond a
> single OS, that is his/her decision to make, not the
> vendor's. In any case, it should come as no surprise
> that the vendor's business case and cross-platform
> agenda factor little in the decision.
> For the sake of argument, let's say RT changes it's
> policy, and grants /Pro the same license as /Core.
> Would this be the death of Rebol? Hardly. Would the
> world become littered with programs that only work on
> Windows, on Amiga, or on QNX? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Yes, no and no is the correct answer.
> Are we saying that these developers would choose to
> implement OS-specific code even in cases where the
> same result could be achieved in multi-platform code?
> I doubt it.
I don't. As I pointed out before, people already post beta-only
scripts here. It's human nature - test it on your system - it works,
therefore it works.
> Even so, maybe that exotic QNX-specific
> app will help turn new users onto QNX.
How come? The only users who'll see it working are those already
using QNX. Much more likely is that it'll turn people off REBOL. "I
tried it and it didn't work. Happens a lot with REBOL code I hear -
a lot of what you find on the Reb is OS-specific these days."
> If an
> OS-specific app turns out to be a success, you can bet
> they will try to extend it to other platforms. It's a
> true mystery (is it?), but commercial, OS-specific
> software seems to be the norm on user desktops. The
> situation isn't under any threat of being fixed by
> Users that don't want to see OS-specific code are
> probably nervous that "cool" scripts would become
> available exclusively on dominant commercial platforms
> such as Windows or Mac. Their platform-of-choice could
> be eclipsed by OS-specific scripts written by
> multitudes ex-VB and RealBasic upstarts.
Ummm - but what if your platform-of-choice is REBOL? What if you
don't care about the underlying OS? What if you want to be able to
move from Windows to Mac to whatever without having half your
software die on you?
> Perhaps this
> ml would no longer be a diverse, multi-platform
> speakeasy if OS-specific discussions become the norm.
> Despite possible increased platform visibility and
> equity, RT probably would not welcome this direction.
> RT does not want to be harried by all of the
> OS-specific baggage that they might attract. Much
> easier to manage a cross-platform (reduced) feature
> set, and wall-out the OS barbarians.
> This is how I interpret RT's current policy:
> "True REBOLs write only multi-platform scripts. RT
> supports the REBOL platform, not those of any
> individual OS. If you want to write any OS-specific
> code, you must pay to play. You will need to buy a
> special interpreter, and all of your users will need
> to purchase this as well. If you need OS specific
> features and an inexpensive runtime to support it, we
> suggest taking a look at the multitude of free or
> open-source tools that 99.999% of developers end up
>> REBOL's good, but it's not good enough to
>> change human-nature.
> I agree. But it depends on your perspective. Who's
> place is it to say what is wrong with human nature?
I wasn't judging human-nature - just pointing out how it'll behave
given the chance.
> REBOL should sell its products in a way that serves
> its business and let human nature be handled by human
Sure. But I'm not asking human-nature to change. I'm just saying
this is how it is, and if the OS-specific stuff in REBOL is made free
it'll result in a high proportion of the scripts made available being
OS-specific which would kill any chance of the Reb becoming something
The world's full of OS-specific languages for those who need them.
But how many good cross-platform ones with a GUI are there? Can you
point me to many lists like this...
languages with support for that many OSs and where all the versions
are at the same version number?
> It won't do any of its platforms justice
> if can't afford to hire staff and the platform
> continues to live in the margins.