Don't you just wish Rev would do this?
randyw at uwm.edu
Tue Jun 5 16:22:06 CDT 2007
I have to agree that Open Source is currently a fad in the tech market. All of the monthly rags are really starting to get into it. On the other hand, you have to give some value to the movement away from a completely closed development model.
Disclaimer: I am a cross-platform accessible software developer. I am an Open Source zealot. I have been using Linux (mostly Debian) and BSD on my Desktop productivity machines and laptops as well as the obvious use on my servers for approximately 15 years. I use Linux because, for me, it behaves in a more productive fashion and allows me the flexibility to do what I need to get done on a daily basis. I am writing this email on a Windows XP machine running Litestep because I have to run Windows at work. Litestep is not an effective solution, but it does give me effective virtual desktops and a useful context menu.
Back to the point:
While it is easy to say that Adobe (and all the other big boys getting into Open Source) are trying to expand their developer pool and get free work making a better product, I think this is entirely off the mark. In order for Adobe to put their name on a product, they need quality control. Quality control on an Open Source project is a lot of work. It's not something you're going to save money on.
In my opinion, the big companies going Open Source are looking much more at public opinion than technological advancement. With everyone hating the RIAA / MPAA / whateverelseAA, why not take a chance at making your company look like you care about the little guy? In my experience, it costs about the same to develop software in-house as it does to Open Source it. Given the minimal cost differences, public opinion could be a cheap buy.
Whether or not an Open Source project will succeed is based pretty much entirely on what sort of people would be using the software. OpenDarwin hasn't had much success because most Mac people aren't into screwing around with their systems. That's why they bought a Mac. Don't even start about Darwin on PC. There's no point. There are multiple BSD distributions that happily work on PC. Porting Darwin in academically interesting, but technologically worthless.
The reason that OpenRevolution could succeed is that there are interested parties. The reason it would almost definitely fail is that RR is pretty well designed for low-effort programming. Anyone seriously interested in developing with RR doesn't have the time to muck around in a bunch of C/C++. That's why they're using RR. GUI / RAD developers interested in C++ are already over at the wxWidgets camp and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Just my $0.02
>>> pevensen at siboneylg.com 6/5/2007 3:20:27 PM >>>
Microsoft seems to be doing very well without open-sourcing its
I'm not sure what open-sourcing has to do with scaling. Are you talking
about user-base or scalability of Revolution itself?
I think "open source" is almost a fad/buzzword; I'm not sure how
important it really is when it comes right down to it. In order for
open source to be of any use, it needs an active developer community
that is maintaining and enhancing the code (at that without any economic
incentive). OpenDarwin didn't work out, would OpenRevolution? How many
of you want to muck about in the Revolution engine and freely contribute
enhancements (and make sure those enhancements work across Mac, Linux,
and Windows in all the different flavors)?
Right now we have a team of dedicated developers working on improving
and enhancing Revolution, developers who have a big economic stake in
the success of the product.
Peter Alcibiades wrote:
> David writes: "Both are much much harder in my environment with a pure closed
> source solution - and it is getting harder."
> The issue really is powerlessness, not just against the supplier, but against
> events beyond the control of the supplier. Hypercard showed one form of this
> very clearly. You can get orphaned as a user, no matter how much goodwill
> and committment the supplier has. The problem is that the number of
> attractive open source alternatives of which this is not true is multiplying
> all the time.
> It may be very hard to make money by open sourcing your bread and butter, but
> it also may be very hard to get your product to the scale it needs to be and
> can be, while keeping it closed, so its not risk free either way.
> If you were consulting to Rev, you'd say this was one that had to be looked at
> very carefully. But my goodness, it would be a bet the company kind of
> decision. Good luck, if you are thinking about it.
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