Pricing / entry cost for this tool

John Vokey vokey at uleth.ca
Sun Nov 27 03:44:21 EST 2005


I haven't commented previously on this issue, and, note, I haven't  
quoted anyone below.  But, I think this whole debate is a tempest in  
a teapot (or a rant in search of topic).  Just what is the issue here?

Dan Shafer, a hero to many X-Talkers, including me, is concerned that  
RR is spreading itself too thin, supporting both DreamCard (allegedly  
for ``Inventive users''---hobbyists by any other name) and Revolution  
(allegedly for ``Professional Developers'', ignoring the different  
pricing options).  He has argued that RR can't do both, citing the  
history of computing and the litany of failed software companies  
attempting to do what he claims RR is doing.  I don't question his  
facts, or even his argument; but I do question the alleged parallel  
of RR with that history.

As an aside, let it be known that I have the ``maxed-out'' license--- 
the equivalent of what I had with Metacard (yes, I have been with MC/ 
RR for quite some time), so if RR went the totally ``professional  
route'' I would be unaffected in that sense.

But that would be a big mistake.  Dreamcard *IS* the replacement for  
hypercard for all but a few (I am a huge Dreamcard supporter---see  
the RR website for my endorsement).  How many hypercard users ever  
produced stand-alones (``apps'' in the parlance)?  I know I never did  
(just as I never produce standalones---apps---in MC/RR).  Tiny stacks  
is what we produced, and still do.  Dreamcard is brilliant just  
because we can continue to do just that.  Better, those to whom we  
provide our stacks need not even have a copy of Dreamcard---they can  
just download the Dreamcard player to use our stacks.  It is the  
continuation of a dream (yes!) that was Steved at Apple, but now  
applies to virtually all operating systems.  THAT is utterly brilliant!

I know Dan appreciates this brilliance; he is just concerned that any  
resources devoted to Dreamcard are extracted from MC/RR as a  
professional development environment.  I would agree, except that I  
think he has mischaracterised the distinction between Dreamcard and  
MC/RR.  Dreamcard is not some lesser development environment from MC/ 
RR, just different.  Personally, I like producing full-blown apps in  
40K that I can send to colleagues to use.  These apps include  
psychology experiments, novel statistical analyses, neural nets, and  
so on.  For that purpose, there is no reason that Dreamcard should be  
different from MC/RR.  Indeed, as Dreamcard is, in effect, a free  
(for RR) spin-off from app-producing MC/RR, ANY Dreamcard sales are  
pure gravy.

My point?  Dreamcard users are not any less ``professional'' than  
those for whom compiled ``apps'' are the raison d'etre.  We need and  
use everything the alleged professionals also use.  So, there is no  
difference in support or resources.  RR should continue to develop  
Revolution as they have been doing, responding to every complaint the  
``professionals'' demand needs correction: but those professionals  
are as much in the Dreamcard contingent as they are in the ``I paid  
maximum dinero, I demand satisfaction'' contingent.  The difference  
is, completely and only, that Dreamcard programmers don't need  
compiled apps of their creations.  To the extent that such  
compilation concerns are at issue, RR should devote resources to  
addressing them.  If they are engine issues, we all benefit, so I am  
all for it!  Kevin et al. at RR (brilliant people all, obviously)  
have recognised this, and have done the brilliant thing.  In case you  
missed it: I can't emphasise enough just how brilliant for the  
computing community the Dreamcard move is: the dream of hypercard  
made available to virtually all, but based on an expensive engine for  
those of us that need it *for other purposes*.  Do I mind indirectly  
funding all those Dreamcard users?  Nope, as it is, as I noted, pure  
gravy for RR.

So, just to drive the point home: Dreamcard is brilliant!  Pass it  
around.  And, don't deprecate it by some false amateur vs.  
``professional'' distinction.

--
Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
See <http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html>

-Dr. John R. Vokey






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