Don't you just wish Rev would do this?
ambassador at fourthworld.com
Wed Jun 6 09:36:47 CDT 2007
Randy Will wrote:
> What all this comes down to is that "ease of use" is in the eye
> of the beholder.
In many areas I would have to agree, but this need not be the case.
There was a time when usability was more the result of research findings
than marketing slogans.
While it's true than even the best research will be flawed due to its
nature (my friend refers to cognitive psychology as the act of doing
watch repair where the only tool you have is another watch <g>), we have
sufficient evidence to suggest that earnest research in which dogma is
kept out of the methodology as much as possible does result in
objectively measurable productivity enhancement.
FWIW, I've been subscribed to the Gnome Usability discussion list for
some months now, and I've been impressed with the thoughtfulness and
thoroughness of the discussion there. While research is expensive, there
does seem to be a strong effort to apply heuristics to solving problems
I have no doubt that as Linux grows it'll attract more usability
specialists, and perhaps some of the development funding will be used
for usability research, providing within perhaps as little as ten years
or less an OS which is the unquestioned world leader.
> Since you brought up the Mozilla foundation and "paid open source
> development"; Personally, I like this model. Of course it leads
> to licensing issues leading to stupid forks like Iceweasel and
> Icedove, but to me, it's a nice muddying of the waters between
> commercial development and FOSS.
Agreed. Dual licensing has the ring of fairness to it: free for free
software, paid for paid software.
But paying developers does raise the question of who pays the piper?
In most FOSS models, more than 80% of users are simply enjoying a free
ride, only a relative handful actually contribute to the code base, and
very small number of players are putting in the big bucks to drive it
all. With RunRev's more traditional model, the piper is paid in the
most egalitarian way possible: each person pays an equal amount to
support the ongoing development effort.
It's important to note that FOSS investment is coming from companies who
also sell proprietary works, or in the case of universities the money
comes from public funds which in turn come from taxes derived from
proprietary works. So in the big picture it is largely proprietary work
which makes FOSS work possible. Even with smaller all-volunteer
efforts, without open source housing and open source food the money
needed to sustain the developer is coming from somewhere, and it's
extremely rare when donations alone cover all expenses.
So as long as the owner of the engine relies on revenues from the engine
as its primary source of income, I think it's safe to say the engine
won't go open source. If someone here wants to pony up the cash to buy
it from RunRev and open source it themselves that may change, but I
don't see it happening anytime soon.
Managing Editor, revJournal
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