Why is Konfabulator 'Pretty?'
mlange at lexicall.org
Sat Dec 10 08:31:59 CST 2005
> As Richard stated his position on this, I'll state mine as well.
> I'm not
> concerned about competitive advantage at all, and won't be until
Richard, Ken... I thought that the statement "giving revolution for
free" was enough for anybody to understand I was pushing things to
the extreme. The purpose was not to denounce the profit orientedness
of professional members. Apologizes if that sounded like a criticism.
That wasn't meant to be one. It was rather a compliment. There is no
*shame* at trying to be successful and remain so. If I use a computer
that doesn't crash every 3 seconds is because I rely on a product
developed by a company which has continued profit making as one of
his priorities. *Nothing* wrong with this.
> Personally I don't think of Rev as a $99 tool (even without standalone
> building capabilities). It's worth far more to me than that.
It's not a question of being able to fork $5000 for a product because
some clients can pay for it. It's a question that revolution puts as
selling line on its website : "Revolution Dreamcard is ideal for
beginners and intermediate developers.". After 2 years on this list,
I still wait for them to do something that suggests they are
interested in that market. I still wait for them to show that they
have "any commitment" to that market (other than the $99 price).
At different moments, we have contacted revolution in our status of
"inventive users" to propose a hand, as we are aware they are a small
company and we were given completely unrealistic answers of the like
"yes, please, do for us the equivalent of 5-6 months full time job,
that would be so cool... and please do it without bothering us
because we have no time for this and please do it all alone as we
won't help you synchronize this or setup the structures that would
help you organize collaborative initiatives or we won't let you re-
use resources we may have". When we started talking about setting up
an infrastructure that facilitates contribution from members of all
levels (even the least experienced one), we were told, please don't
Yes, in terms of profit to get from a single person, a $99 license
doesn't seem to support the development. But if you divide the cost
of developing such resources between a large number of persons, you
reduce the cost each person needs to pay. That's the case for license
fees. That's the case for the amount of time/work each person has to
give for a useful collection of resources to be rapidly set up.
And that was the all point of this thread on why is konfabulator
pretty. Konfabulator is pretty because it is not very expensive (was
$49, I believe, now free) and because there was a *very* cool library
of widgets, easy to download and to adapt or to learn from on the web.
Sure, it is in the best interest of the professional market to have
continued development and bux fixing. But for a product like
dreamcard to be of interest to the inventive users, bug fixing is not
a priority. To have 100% reliable tools is not *that* important.
What is more important is to have some examples, templates, easy to
follow tutorials, suggestions that help get us started... or even
better as the konfab and dashboard success stories show, have them
develop the infrastructure that lead to a rapid development of such a
catalogue of resources by the user base. What I would like to see, as
an inventive user, not making any profit from my activities using
revolution (and certainly not able to fork $5000 on a license), is a
centralized archive of all resources that exist for revolution, a
central place where tips, information, resources, etc. can be shared,
so that us, the inventive users for who revolution is only one of our
many activities, one of many toys we play with, can find the
information we are looking for in a minimum amount of times.
I fully agree with the professionals on this list. One day, runrev
ltd will have to decide what their product is supposed to be for. The
wiki idea was nicely transformed into a project of easying
improvements in the current documentation. Well, originally it was
not really about it. Originally it was to help the inventive users to
find resources without being expected to have to read 50 digests a
week (it toke me 3-5 days to skim through the posts of the last
month... that's too much for a hobbyist). The idea was to automate
extraction of tips and code bits from the list. The idea was to
provide a place were "beginner and intermediate" members of the
community could easily find tips and tricks and eventually share
them. Then runrev kicked in to tell us not to do anything about it
Agreed, Richard, the persons who pay you wouldn't be very happy you
spend your time watching a small flower change of color on your
desktop. However, many inventive users like to download such widgets
because they represent a very concise programming unit in which it is
very easy to understand what line of programming does and how a
specific effect can be achieved.
Yes, widgets are dead easy to realize with revolution and the
temptation is great to rapidly move to more complex projects (like I
did) or even to rapidly believe you could dig your day job and make a
living thanks to revolution! It remains that widgets are a great
resource for beginner and even intermediate users. Yes, revolution
can do a lot more than produce widgets and this would justify a
higher price tags. But the complete beginner only wants to know how
he can realize a widget. There is nothing "inappropriate" about that.
Marielle Lange (PhD), Psycholinguist
Alternative emails: mlange at blueyonder.co.uk, M.Lange at ed.ac.uk
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