[REBOL] Re: Licensing, components ... Re: REBOL FAQ updated
From: rebologue:yah:oo at: 19-Sep-2002 14:40
--- Carl Read <[carl--cybercraft--co--nz]> wrote:
> ... I believe [OS-specific] will be fatal to REBOL
> as a cross-platform language.
Ok, so the licensing for /Pro is needed to keep those
OS-centric developers in check. It begs the question:
which is the greater torment to the general computing
public; when you can't run every /View script on 30+
platforms, or when you can't find or build REBOL
scripts that compare favorably to native, OS-specific
> [OS-specific software] does tend to tie one to
> a particular OS though, as that approach
> guarantees one OS or another will dominate.
> Cross-platform software is a way out of that bind.
It's a way out only if the cross-platform softare is
as good or better than the OS-specific flavor. If the
situation were truly dire, I think we'd all be using
StarOffice and Java on open-source platforms by now.
Inertia wins; without clear direction and sufficient
motivation, the main herd stays put.
I think that REBOL will be attractive to independent
software developers. The RAD-like features of REBOL
are a powerful force multiplier that helps compete in
the marketplace. This market group is trying to
optimize every available advantage; they are not
likely to abandon cross-platform compatibility (a
potential market) unless it's a necessity.
In most cases, corporate developers don't need the
cross-platform compatibility (for desktop apps,
anyway). They need to preserve the user experience of
the platform, and to integrate with their tech
> Define attractive.
Attractive meaning priced affordably for small to
mid-size development development houses. Right now it
is priced prohibitively (IIRC, each user must purchase
a license for /Pro).
> I believe RT should do what RT believe is
> best for RT.
I agree. They're probably doing exactly that. My
experience with RT has been good. They usually listen
and pick out the ideas that work for them.
> The world's not short of OS-specific languages, but
> good cross-platform ones with GUIs are a different
I don't want to get into a language tussle, but I
think there quite a few cross-platform languages with
GUIs. Many folks will assert that, for simplicity and
ubiquity, plain-old HTML front-ends are the way to go.
> But I'm attracted to REBOL because it's a
> cross-platform language first and a good one second.
> I want to be able to surf the Reb knowing that
> 90% of the scripts there don't care what OS
> I'm running. The Reb will be a pointless
> exercise if they're not.
I bet almost 100% of public scripts are cross-platform
now, but there are only a few hundred scripts
available, and mostly with limited functionality. We
could risk seeing a small number of OS-specific
scripts become extremely popular, which might belie
the overall numbers and distort the perception.
I'm curious to know if your convictions are shared by
> (Yes, I know it's not much now, but it has the
> potential to be very interesting.)
While you may find it interesting when it's
cross-platform, if you want it to be really
interesting, why not let developers drive REBOL
wherever they want? (Oh yeah, you answered that. ;^)
> If cans of spray-paint were free to all, do you
> think that'd make for better painted walls?
It would result in many many more walls being painted.
80% of the paint jobs would be poor or unremarkable,
15% would be acceptable, 4% would be noteworthy, and
1% may be the among finest murals you've ever seen.
It's that 1% of applications, the VisiCalc, Mosaic,
and Napster that drive the industry forward.
Of course, a cynic might say "Put a million monkeys in
front of a typewriter and...".