[OT] - REALBasic Claims 100K Users

Dan Shafer revolutionary.dan at gmail.com
Wed Oct 4 17:33:24 EDT 2006


This thread made me ask myself the question, "What constitutes a user of a
development tool?"

I used to think it would be dishonest to count everyone who had ever
downloaded (and perhaps paid for?) any version of the tool. After all, I've
downloaded (and even paid for) quite a number of development tools over the
years of which I could no longer be considered a user (and many for which
that was never, strictly speaking, true).

Then I thought the focus should be on "active users," which I would
(arbitrarily) define as anyone who had downloaded (and perhaps paid for?)
the latest update to the tool. That would weed out folks who had  been users
at one point but were no longer seriously using the tool. But witness the
RunRev situation with 2.7.x vs. 2.6.1. I'd consider myself a fairly active
user of Revolution but I don't use 2.7.x at all yet, though I have
downloaded it. I imagine there are lots of RB developers who haven't
upgraded in some time because they don't see a need for the new features and
are quite satisfied with the older version in which they maintain
applications for themselves or clients.

My conclusion, for my purposes only, is that only "active" users should be
counted but that determining that number is all but impossible, so, at the
end of the day, "installed base" isn't a useful piece of information.

Instead, I'll measure the popularity of a development tool based on such
issues as how many books, web sites, articles, and tutorials are available;
how large and active and helpful the user community is; how much free or
nearly free code can you obtain for it.

By that measure, RB is vastly more popular than RunRev. It has four books
published, quite a few magazine articles and a healthy number of Web sites
devoted to teaching it and providing sample and reusable code (classes) for
it.

Of course, popularity is just one factor to take into account when choosing
a development tool. And it may not be a very important one in most
situations.
-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan Shafer, Information Product Consultant and Author
http://www.shafermedia.com
Get my book, "Revolution: Software at the Speed of Thought"
>From http://www.shafermediastore.com/tech_main.html



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