Debian, Sidux, Ubuntu, reference distributions for Rev

David Bovill david.bovill at
Tue Apr 13 14:04:37 EDT 2010

On 13 April 2010 17:01, Andre Garzia <andre at> wrote:

> It is impossible to create a binary system that runs well on all linux
> platforms and desktops. The thing is linked against something, we don't
> know
> if something is available everywhere. For example, Rev uses GTK, KDE users
> would rather prefer it using QT. XFCE user will be happy with anything but
> big lazy stuff and so on. Its quite hard to distribute binary systems on
> linux that why theres a whole ecosystem of auto conf tools so that your
> source code is pre processed against hundred tests at build time on the
> client machine to make sure you're linking with what is available. Thats
> why
> open source is king on linux, unless you distribute your source with
> autoconf tools, there's no guarantee it will run on client machines. Each
> linux installation is its own kingdom. Mine is openSUSE 11.2 with tons of
> modifications...

What do you think of the idea that on Linux, and on Android Rev is
distributed as a backend binary which can be glued into a variety of open
source front end frameworks. So just as the Java front widgets for Android
would be glued into the Rev C backend - so could other languages and widget
front ends - all of which could be happily open sourced without threatening
the closed source business model of RunRev.

I'm no expert in the details of how these frameworks bind to C++ code in the
various cases - but form what I have read this should be possible in a
variety of scenarios - and could possibly fit well with the revServer
strategy? Help me out on this one Andre :) The important point here for me
is that this would be the beginnings of a coherent open source strategy for
RunRev. Richard is wrong in my view in emphasizing the market share aspect
of Linux in terms of business value for RunRev.

The real value is in terms of the quality of developers, and their ability
to produce high quality libraries, frameworks and components in revTalk (and
externals). The fact that you come out plus/minus/zero with this market in
terms of sales is not the point - you get the developers, and with them the
ability to integrate Rev in more commercial projects, because it sits nicely
with other environments that teams of coders and businesses are more used to
- so indirectly you begin to get more sales. Just as it is vital to the
Apples iPhone strategy that they attract and retain the best developers, so
it should be to RunRev.

To get concrete - in order to have an Android strategy - RunRev must get a
bunch of front end widgets written in Java - and so why not do this as an
open source project, actively supported with development from RunRev. Same
could be said for JavaScript front ends - say in Dojo. With these sort of
open source frameworks in place, there would be a much stonger argument for
businesses to develop in Rev, knowing that the front ends they prototype can
be migrated to Java or AJAX with minimal effort, and thereafter tweaked and
refined as much as they want.

Now while the Linux market may be small - and the number of Linux users of
Rev may be relatively small, I would be pretty confident that practically
every last one of them would get enthusiastically involved in such an open
source project and actively attract other Linux users to the project - far
more so than say the Mac or PC users as a proportion.

Lastly - when you ask yourself why there are relatively few Linux users -
the answer is pretty clear to anyone who has spent a long time in those
communities. Remember Rev started life in the unix world, and Linux was well
supported back in MetaCard days, also that there were back then very very
few graphically rich, easy authoring environments on Linux - and Rev had the
potential to have a large and deveoted following on that platform - I know
from showing it around - but they lacked an open source strategy, and they
failed to present the tools to this community in the way that would appeal
to them, later on the Linux development fell out of step - so it's chicken
and egg. With a slightly different approach towards the community, things
could be very different on the Linux platform.

That's all history - I'm wandering about the future of this with regard to
Android. And my question here is can this important market for Rev be also
an opportunity to develop a coherent Linux business strategy for RunRev -
which we as developers would all benefit from?

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