The State of Rev (Was Re: [ANN] Rodeo IDE preview video)

Richmond Mathewson richmondmathewson at
Mon May 31 14:19:25 EDT 2010

  On 31/05/2010 20:46, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> Andre Garzia wrote:
>> I think the market for Rev and Linux is not an end user market, like 
>> selling
>> to users but creating custom software for enterprise and 
>> organizations and
>> all the web stuff such as RevServer.
>> In the future and Linux gets even more widespread, creating 
>> commercial linux
>> tools might be a good option. 2D Boy proved that you can sell linux 
>> games
>> and sell a lot (of course world of goo is a cross platform game, but 
>> they
>> sold a lot of linux licenses anyway)
> Currently, Linux is at the pre-tipping-point stage characterized by 
> this catch-22 as a key contributing factor:  end-users want more apps 
> on Linux before they switch, and developers want to see more end-users 
> on Linux before they deploy.
> An example of this dynamic was provided by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols 
> of Computerworld recently:
>    Ubuntu wants Adobe, even if Apple doesn't
>    ...
>    Canonical marketing manager Gerry Carr told me that "in a recent
>    survey we did of the Ubuntu User base where we got 32,000 plus
>    responses, Adobe Photoshop as a potential application for Ubuntu
>    got a 3.52 rating out of 5 being the second most popular
>    potential app after Skype."

Umm . . .

I cannot quite see what the advantages of Adobe Photoshop are now that 
we have GIMP and

between the 2 of them I think they have Photoshop just about "sewn up".

I am not trying to run down the idea of commercial software on Linux; 
but I would
like to point out that the fact that the vast majority of Linux distros 
are FREE does
tend to set up users to expect everything that follows to be free, and, 
where adequate
substitutes that are free exist, tend to choose them over commercial 
ones; both from
financial considerations and from the "everything should be free" 
mentality that Linux
(and even more, everybody's favourite hairy nutcase: Stallman) pushes 
people towards.

The most important bit of what I wrote above is:

"where adequate substitutes that are free exist"

and there's the rub: there will be a race for commercial developers to 
plug perceived niches
where a demand exists but an Open Source / Free solution does not exist; 
followed by an
Open Source / Free equivalent hard on its heels. The 'trick', if indeed 
there is a trick at all, is
to find a niche which won't be plugged directly after your commercial 
offering by an O-S/free
alternative which will make you go rajj because of all the time, R&D and 
effort you put into
your 'thing' for the peanuts you get paid before one of "Saint Richard 
Stallman's" acolytes
get you by the "small and curlies".

I, myself, run my Macintosh on the basis of the software that comes with 
the system install
DVD, Open Source / FREE stuff, and RunRev (which I paid for, only 
because there is no adequate
substitute and I cannot find a suitable (FREE) anti-addiction programme 
to get me off it): Now
part of the reason for this is:

a. I cannot afford much commercial software,

b. I feel slightly queasy about using pirate software (although it would 
be disingenuous to say
      I have never used it; age does funny things with one's morals),

c. I can see absolutely NO reason at all to shell out hard-earned money for
     anything unless no other choice exists.


I do believe that Linux might be about to tip: in fact I hope it is.

However, I don't think this means that all those people who "suddenly" 
stop using Windows
and Mac, will "suddenly" be digging deep into their wallets for costly 
programs such as
the Adobe suite.

I believe something different will happen:

1. Apple and Microsoft will have to completely rethink and rearrange 
their way of doing things;
both need to iron out some of the warts in their operating systems.

   Windows, for a start, is going to have to be so much better than 
Linux that users are going
   to put up with viruses, and on top of the OS, shell out monthly fees 
for anti-virus sofware.
   Mind you, it escapes me why people do now: just run ReactOS:

2. The commercial 'majors' will have to radically cut their pricing 
structure, and make sure
that their offerings are killer apps.

I am sure, should Linux 'tip', this will NOT result in a Stallmanesque 
heaven, where there is pie
in the sky and endless free beer (well, even if only because I want to 
pay for RunRev 5!),
but a more mixed system, with a freer sort of competition.

I also hope, that to buy a laptop without anybody's OS preinstalled will 
not involve a hunt
across 3 continents . . .  :)


Quite apart from my, probably, ill-informed speculations; I do know that 
RunRev have to
look to their Linux version and sort it out lickety-split, less they 
lose out to others.

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