Rev's Mac-Centricity (Was: Plea to sell Dan's book widely)

Pierre Sahores psahores at
Sat Aug 7 14:52:16 EDT 2004

Thanks for this debate, Dan and Chipp,

Best Regards, Pierre

Le 7 août 04, à 19:19, Dan Shafer a écrit :

> Chipp.........
> You knew I'd have to chime in here. :-)
> Not simply to be contrarian, but I do not believe RR has any serious 
> chance of making real inroads into other platforms. Period. No matter 
> what they do. Over the decades -- yes, decades! -- I've been in this 
> business, I bet I've seen 100 or more development platforms, 
> languages, and tools emerge that would have made Windows programmers 
> more productive and efficient. Not one of them thrived. Only a few 
> survived.
> Now you could go through the list and find something wrong with every 
> one of them, I'm sure. A reason they failed. But I submit that if in 
> all that time, no new language or tool that wasn't backed by a huge 
> company (Microsoft in particular but also Sun and IBM and, for a while 
> at least, Borland) ever made real inroads. My belief -- and I confess 
> that it is only a belief, not something I can support with anything 
> stronger than my own experiences an insights -- is that Windows 
> developers are principally if not exclusively interested in developing 
> for the Windows platform and that the Bandwagon Effect results in the 
> vast majority of them using mainstream tools. Hell, Java doesn't even 
> have significant presence among pure Windows developers; it's been 
> shifted to the enterprise/server side of the equation and Microsoft is 
> on the verge of dislodging even that penetration.
> Oh, sure, there is a minuscule number of programmers who experience a 
> Smalltalk or a Revolution or an Objective C and say, "Wow, I can be 
> way more productive than my competitors with this. I think I'll use it 
> instead of C++ or C#." And some of them stick with their 
> out-of-the-mainstream tools. But most don't. Eventually, the fact that 
> 95% of their colleagues are using other tools with widespread library 
> support, fellow programmers to exchange code and ideas with, and all 
> the other components of the Bandwagon Effect drag most of them back to 
> the mainstream tools.
> This is true even on the Mac. Only a minority of desktop app 
> developers who develop  for the Mac are ultimately interested in 
> selling Windows products. (I'm not saying this *should* be the case, 
> but it's a reality nonetheless.) CodeWarrior lets hard-core C types 
> deliver cross-platform but they're a bit player on both sides of the 
> fence. Apple's dev tools, esp under OS X, are awesome and powerful. 
> Every single Mac programmer I know uses them and not Revolution 
> despite the fact that they could use Rev and greatly expand their 
> market. In some cases, they are working for an all-Mac customer or 
> client base. In  others, they just don't care; they'd rather build 
> apps with all of the coolness and nuance of a Mac app and forego the 
> Windows marketplace than compromise. In effect, this is another face 
> of the same argument you make for why RR needs to make the product 
> less Mac-centric: developers on those "other" platforms want to see 
> tools that feel like those platforms.
> At the end of the day, RR has to find niches where cross-platform 
> development is important or even critical. Those niches exist. But 
> they are not mainstream programmers on either platform (and certainly 
> not on *nix, whose developers seem to prefer Open Source tools). To 
> delude itself into thinking it will *ever* make significant inroads 
> into any traditional programming market would, I think, be the end of 
> RR. I think they should focus exclusively on  the folks I call 
> Inventive Users who are not full-time professional coders, who can 
> make a tool switch without a huge technical or social cost, and who 
> are at least interested in if not motivated by the possibility of 
> cross-platform development.
> As it happens, I think that audience is at least 10 times as large as 
> the professional programming audience and vastly more receptive to new 
> development tools and technologies. But reaching that audience is 
> tricky.
> On Aug 6, 2004, at 11:15 PM, Chipp Walters wrote:
>> I also believe there is too much 'Mac' centric focus in RR. The GUI 
>> is completely Mac based, and so is much of the marketing focus. 
>> Though, this does represent the 'low-hanging fruit', RR won't ever 
>> truly make inroads onto other platforms w/out a concerted marketing 
>> effort by the company.
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