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[REBOL] Re: Rebol SDK vs Command

From: edoconnor:gma:il at: 18-Sep-2007 13:57

Hi Petr-- Good to see you active in Rebol again. I knew you couldn't stay away :^) I think we're mostly in agreement here. I do not believe that opening the source today would make much difference. Perhaps it might have in 1998 when Rebol was new, but as Gabriele says, the past is past.
>> But this one, I am not sure is accurate :-) Why would RT not use e.g. MS
Developer Studio to code REBOL? My analogy was about RT being willing to write REBOL in a proprietary language, not about their willingness to use a proprietary IDE or compiler. Developers are often willing to pay money for tools, extensions, add-ons and solutions (such as a RAD IDE, component, or a DBMS). It's the language that most people expect to be free, just like I don't pay anything to read/write/think/create in English, but I pay for tools such as pens, paper, phones and computers to store, compose or transport my words.
>> Do you want to know opinion of most CIO's on open-source here? They
really don't care! That one is for Carl Read too - CIOs DON'T care. They are not stupid. In my experience, CIO's tend to be anti-open source. They are business managers whose job is to contain IT costs while supporting key business functions with minimal risk. But open-source or not, any company large enough to have a CIO will endorse only standard software/platforms/methodologies backed by the corp. giants(i.e., someone they can sue if something goes wrong) and offshore vendor teams. If RT wants to sell R3 in a B2B model, the dll should remain closed, and R3 should retain its commercial, proprietary branding. In this model, R3 should demonstrate clear, quantifiable advantages (either generally or in a specific, marketable domain), and it should come with a justifiably expensive price tag (price is associated with value). Looking back at the past decade of RT and the unique nature of REBOL, I imagine this approach presented some tough challenges. If RT wishes to sell R3 in more of a B2C model (i.e., don't sell the language, focus on selling add-ons, SDKs, Apache mod's, etc.), then opening the language fully might remove an important barrier to grass-roots adoption. I'm sure open-source comes with a set of headaches, but like it or not, conventional perception is that open-source offers a critical advantage for a language, and closed-source for an upstart language is a deal-breaker. I can see a lot of words have been written on this topic, and I think I've finally said all I can say about it. Personally I'm not disappointed that the R3 .dll will not be open-source-- that isn't important to me-- I use Rebol for personal, end-user programming. Arguing against or in favor of open-source requires an understanding of RT's business model, which I'm not privy to. Whatever the case, I, like all of us, hope R3 is a giant success and the start of a great rebolly future. Cheers, Ed