Rev_rant part 4

Bernard Devlin revolution at knowledgeworks.plus.com
Wed Nov 15 08:29:03 EST 2006


Dave said:

 >>
I can't believe you called me pessimistic! I find this post to very
pessimistic basically saying it's a toy, don't try to make it
mainstream, give up now cos it will never happen!
<<

Please don't put words in my mouth.  I didn't call you pessimistic,  
and I didn't say Rev was a toy.  I'm making Rev a fundamental part of  
my business - of course I don't think it's a toy.

I said you cannot expect Rev to have the kind of mindshare or  
widespread use of Javascript,Perl or even Applescript.  Applescript  
is right there on the desktop as a development tool on millions of  
Macs. You can buy umpteen books on it on Amazon, and several video  
training cds also on Amazon; you can get training courses by many  
different providers in different continents (including Apple  
itself).  Many other Mac products expose Applescript functionality,  
serving to further increase awareness of it.  Yet Applescript itself  
is hardly mainstream.   A search on Jobserve for jobs requiring  
particular languages results in this: applescript = 2,ruby = 34, php  
= 426, perl = 676 javascript = 1109, visual basic = 1563, java = 3657.

Runrev have done a really good job of making it clearer to new users  
how powerful Rev is, and have done a better job componentizing it and  
marketing it than Metacard Corp. did.  But as things stand Rev is a  
niche product.  Its use and popularity are apparently expanding  
slowly (e.g. the conferences, the book that Lynn mentioned), but I've  
been standing on the sidelines for 4 years, and I haven't seen any  
huge groundswell like that which launched Ruby to fame via Ruby on  
Rails.  I know that Andre has been looking into doing something  
similar for Rev (you are a one-man marvel, Andre), but even if he  
achieved that, it doesn't mean that it would launch Rev into the  
spotlight.  There are plenty of systems to rival RoR built in Python,  
PHP and even Java, but they aren't getting 1% of the publicity that  
RoR is getting.  Some of that is just the eclipsing effect of hype  
and fashionability.  But even RoR is hardly considered a mainstream  
tool (look at how few vacancies there are listed above compared to  
e.g. PHP).

Given those figures, how do you propose within 20 years to make Rev  
into a mainstream language (say, on the level of Perl, to take  
something that is not at either end of that list of vacancies)?   
Metacard was around for over a decade before it was bought by Runrev,  
and garnered several awards and commendations from the industry  
press.  But it was still widely unknown.  Runrev are doing a better  
job at making Rev affordable and at demonstrating what can be done  
with it.

There are some very clever xTalk programmers on this list (I include  
you and Xavier... well, most of the regular posters - excluding me,  
of course).  For those who want Rev to have a higher profile, I hope  
1 day to see some amazing product or technique that will give us all  
a sense of smugness.  I know that the product I am working on is  
quite unique and extremely powerful, but for commercial reasons the  
most I am prepared to do for the forseeable future is to fulfill my  
"made with" obligations to Runrev and to keep on buying my update  
licenses.  I've spent several years investigating and learning the  
options available to me in order to come up with a unique value  
proposition.  Rev is an intrinsic part of it, but my solution is  
designed such that I could swap out presentation layers if the need  
arose.

Bernard







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