[REBOL] Re: Licensing, components ... Re: REBOL FAQ updated
From: rebologue:ya:hoo at: 14-Sep-2002 12:17
From a business standpoint, the value of the REBOL
platform by itself is very little (really), regardless
of how cross-platform it is. That is because the value
of the REBOL platform is determined by how many people
are using it and developing with it.
In the hands of tens of thousands of developers and
users, however, the value could be huge. RT should be
doing whatever they can to make sure that developers
in key markets are happy and that the REBOL
interpreter is being distributed far and wide.
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
--- 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."
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.
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. Even so, maybe that exotic QNX-specific
app will help turn new users onto QNX. 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. 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?
REBOL should sell its products in a way that serves
its business and let human nature be handled by human
individuals. 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.