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[REBOL] Re: Licensing, components

From: atruter:hih:au at: 19-Sep-2002 13:33

Just caught up on 5 days of mail, so I'll comment on a few posts at once ;)
> The only reason people will use REBOL these days is because they have
fallen in love with the language and love to explore. RAD. The ability to develop a [relatively] complex GUI-based application without being forced to use a database component from company B, an imaging module from company C, etc is a godsend. Everything can be done in REBOL and it can be done quickly. UI. The user-interface can be made to look exactly the way you choose. In my case, it allows me to deploy apps across Win95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP without worrying about the subtle API and UI changes. Consistency. Even on just one platform, windoze, most software has at least a "Win95, 98, ME" and a "Win2000/XP" install / usage section in the manual. Because REBOL apps use REBOL building blocks as opposed to API building blocks, this is not an issue for REBOL apps. My documentation can use the one set of screen shots and instructions to cover all flavours of windoze.
> I believe that if more people knew of real-world ENCAP uses, they would
be more willing to trust and buy it without trial. I have no idea who uses it, how well it works, what's really involved and cannot even read the docs on it. I can find no examples 'Made with Encap'. Could not be simpler to use. Just run the encap program, enter the source script name (eg. test.r), the target name (eg. test.exe) and hey presto you have a 550K standalone executable. This executable is in fact the REBOL interpreter with your script(s) tacked on the end. As for "made with encap", here we get interesting. In the niche industry I am targeting the UI is *the* selling point of my app and I do *not* want my VB and C based competitors to know "how it was done and how so quick". Encap, for me, is not only the means by which the source code is protected but also the means by which the "production process" is protected. This *commercial* consideration may conflict with my *hobbyist* instincts to tell the world about REBOL, but I figure that spending time trying to sell REBOL-based applications is more beneficial to RT (and me) than talking to end-users about a particular deployment technology. Folks are interested in what your application can do, not what it is written in. Competitors *are* interested in what it is written in as they can then market against it (eg. "that REBOL app over there is really just an interpreted script, while our app is a highly optimised C executable", etc). Sales prospects are rather taken with the concept of a single, optimised 550K executable and no supporting DLL's.
> ftpgadget is the only application that I am aware of that is encapped.
There are others, like mine, that are sold via channels other than the internet. I have just come back from a 5-day trade fair where my encap'ed demo was seen by hundreds of sales prospects, many of whom do not even have an email address let alone buy software over the internet.
> I'd recommend it for software projects of all sizes. Last time I
checked, it was $499 plus 10% commission on all sales of products where Encap was used (or something like that). Note that this fee is a yearly fee and is applied against the 10% owed. ie. if I sell $8,000 worth of software in a year then I owe RT $800 less $499. While I don't suggest the royalty scheme is the best way to gain large developer support, it does have the advantage of a low entry cost ($499) and like any franchise (eg. Macdonald's) if the franchise does well then RT does well and the developer still retains 90%.
> What improvements/changes do you recommend for Encap?
Ability to change icons (it comes embedded with the standard "R" icons at 16x16, 32x32 and 48x48) and "Version" text. While other tools can be used to [interactively] modify the encapped executable, it would be better if encap excepted scripted parameters to do this (ie. a simple and complete build process). Sample install / uninstall scripts that handle pathing, icons, registry entries, etc. While I don't expect the likes of "Install Shield", I do expect an installer that prompts for an installation directory and places an icon on the user's desktop. -Does Encap work across platforms? Each platform requires it's own version of encap. -How do you control that? Purchase encap for each platform you intend to market for. Note that higher sales will effectively let you obtain encap on other platforms "for free". eg. $10,000 in sales covers the cost of encap for two platforms, even if most sales occurred on only one platform. -Any issues with /View None. -Does Encap work with all versions of REBOL? Encap "contains" the REBOL interpreter. Latest encap includes latest release and beta versions. It is not encap itself that is beta, but the interpreter instance it binds to your script(s). -How big is the minimum executable? 550K on windows. After adding 160K of scripts, this went to 554K. I was suitably impressed! -Can you generate Encapped dynamically under Rebol script control? Yes. Roll your own. -Does Encap have any built-in icon features for GUIs? No. DIY. -Double click starting from icon on Win32 and MacOS? No. DIY. -What control for time limiting, password or license key control of executables? DIY. -What sort of docs, examples do you get? Installation and usage manual of about 4 pages, plus a test / sample script to encap. -Does 10% commission apply to non-profit, non-commercial or educational projects? 10% of nothing is nothing. If you charge something, 10% goes to RT. -How is licensing/commission managed? See above. -Is that 10% of the final product price? REBOL based component only (if structured correctly). -What happens if your product is free? You pay $499 per year for Royalty membership. -If you are a developer for a client with end-user customers, is just one Encap license needed? Yes. Encap is a development licence, not a runtime licence. -Who is responsible for the Commission in that case, and how is it assigned and tracked? The seller of the encap'ed program is responsible. -Have you used it with PayPal closely in any way? No. -Does Encap help promote REBOL or is that left entirely up to the developer? Unless modified, the encapped executable retains the REBOL icons and version text. - What have you built with it? Image Management software for the medical industry. - Client and end-user reactions to the product? They love the UI of the application and don't know [or care] that it was written with REBOL. - Client [and end-user] reactions to the license commission? Not their problem. They pay an RRP that includes all third party licence fees, etc. Again, the 10% royalty fee is the concern of the *seller* only.
> Anything else?
Don't go into business without a good accountant and lawyer, and operate out of a company structure. ;) Regards, Ashley