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[REBOL] Re: Licensing, components ... Re: REBOL FAQ updated

From: rebologue:ya:hoo at: 17-Sep-2002 16:06

Carl R-- Thanks for your responses to my comments. My take-away from your posts is: 1. You believe that OS-specific scripts will be fatal (or highly detrimental) to REBOL. 2. You believe that RT should not offer an attractive runtime license so that developers can distribute OS-specific scripts. I disagree on both accounts, but I acknowledge it's a moot point. I think there are also a lot of grey areas in the discussion. For example, where do we stand regarding features that: Change or vary (perhaps radically) based on the user OS? Fail silently if your OS doesn't support it? Use a workaround to support the feature across platforms? Expect other software (i.e. a browser) on the user's system? As I expressed previously, I think that all options should be in the hands of developers. They already have enough complexity to deal with and tend to flee when they see puzzling restrictions and red tape. So what happens when you want want to switch from Windows to Mac to (Plan 9 ?) without losing apps? My answer isn't going to please you. In the case that your apps are OS-specific, the .1% of the market audience (multi-platform-switching desktop users) with this dilemma will need to find reblets that support those 3 platforms. Fortunately REBOL makes multi-platform dev more feasible than just about any other tool. I can't vote in favor of "100% cross-platform purity" if it means constraining REBOL (licensing or functionality) in ways that effectively limit the kinds of apps developers are able to create. Or that deter the volume of developers required to build a healthy market for RT. So I am against licensing policy that deters developers from building the scripts they want. I don't believe that OS-specific erases prospects for the Reb. Lack of developers-- lack of customers, that's something that darkens prospects. In my view, RT's commercial success is by far the largest factor in securing the future of the REBOL platform. An extension of this is that REBOL needs to be sufficiently popular in strategic markets (commercial OSes) in order to achieve success. I like the concept and practice of "multi-platform"-- it's one of the reasons I like REBOL. However, I put it at a slightly lower priority than a successful, growing vendor and platform. When I talk coarsely about cross-platform support, it's not because I disagree over the merits of PalmOS , Novell, etc. It's because my inner business marketing strategist warns me that, given finite resources, all platforms are not equal (let alone identical). While I surmise the above is an unpopular viewpoint to the REBOL supporters on this list, I hope it is accepted as fair input. Regards Ed