OT2: The 'realness' of languages

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon Dec 22 14:55:29 EST 2008

George C Brackett wrote:
> Do you dodge the 'what is it written in' question? 

Never. Full disclosure makes for informed decisions.

> How can we raise the profile of Revolution as a  
> 'real' language?

The same as with any issue managers face: specific measurable results.

I often refer to Rev as being similar to VB in terms of its productivity 
but with a much smaller and simpler install and which lets me target 
multiple platforms from a single code base.

For technically minded people, these articles sometimes help:

In Praise of Scripting:  Real Programming Pragmatism

Scripting: Higher Level Programming for the 21st Century

For the less technically minded, I show them reviews of my products and 
others made with Rev.

Either way, the bottom line is the bottom line:  Ultimately the only 
thing that matters is delivering features to end users.  Everything else 
is at best secondary, or even not really relevant at all from a business 

It boils down to: "How many features can they deliver to end-users in 
the same number of programmer hours?"

Have them try this simple exercise, using any language and any framework 
they like:

    1. Build an application that lets the user choose a folder
       of images and displays them in a slideshow, with Forward
       and Backward buttons.

    2. Then make builds for OS X, Windows, and Linux.

In Rev, this will take just a few minutes.  In many other languages, and 
certainly in C, this will take a few hours - for each platform.

If the proposed app in question doesn't deal with images that may not be 
the best test, but it's usually not hard to come up with a modest sample 
case representative of what an app needs to do that shows off Rev's 
unusually high productivity.

If they find a tool that lets them deliver more features at lower cost 
than using Rev, they'd be fools not to use it.

But for the business-minded manager, the corollary is also true. :)

Features are where money comes from.
Where money goes is programmer hours.
The difference between the two determine what kind of car the owner drives.

Either way they get a bicycle.  If they make a really bad choice, it's 
their only vehicle.  If they make a really good choice, they get to keep 
their Mercedes in the garage while they take a month off touring Europe 
on a high-end alloy frame. :)

The great thing about recessions is that they force managers to return 
to business basics.  While calculating ROI often becomes something of a 
lost art during good years, in lean times there is no choice but to put 
ROI at the center of operational decisions, where it arguably should 
have been all the time.

Work with them to establish productivity measurements relevant to their 
proposed software, and let the best tool win.

If it's Rev, you have an expanded scope of work approved.
If it's not, you have a new tool to report back to us here about.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  Revolution training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for Rev developers: http://www.revjournal.com

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