New Pricing

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Tue Aug 21 13:50:44 EDT 2012

Peter Alcibiades wrote:
> The Linux market is certainly difficult and has some real challenges, and the
> prevalence of free as in beer is certainly one of them.  But this is what
> you have to contend with if going after that market.  RealBasic is an
> example of a company that's made the decision and is doing it.  Whether
> right or wrong, they really are doing it, in a way that Rev for Linux is
> not.

How's that working out for them?

 From their forum comments I don't see many there deploying to Linux.

And in the Ubuntu forums, I know two people interested in LiveCode, but 
haven't found a single comment from anyone about RealBASIC other than 
one post I made about x-plat RAD tools in general.

Don't get me wrong:  I like Linux and often enjoy using LiveCode on it 
(esp. since I fixed the bug with the Unity icons), and will continue 
porting apps to Ubuntu with LiveCode.

And if - after Kevin's cleaned up the explanation of the new pricing so 
this can be clearer - it turns out that there's no way for a Linux user 
to simply buy a Linux license to make software for Linux, well of course 
that would be just dumb and since it's so easily fixable with a simple 
change to the store I'd be surprised if it lasted more than an hour 
after it was brought to their attention.

But beyond that, RunRev's position with Linux is as a follower, rather 
than a leader.  That's okay.  It's just a choice, and not everyone is in 
a position to gamble.  For followers, Linux will only get as much 
attention as other people give it.

Valve is a leader, pushing their Steam engine and storefront into Ubuntu 
full steam ahead (all puns intended):

EA has also begun moving some titles into the Ubuntu Software Center, 
and the OEM deals signed up now suggest that 5% of machines sold next 
year will have Ubuntu preinstalled:

Add those to the 8-10 million new Ubuntu-powered machines already sold 
this year:

Will this mean that Kevin's missing out on some big opportunity to get 
in on the ground floor of this seeming Ubuntu revolution?

Well, since every year for the last 20 years we've been hearing that 
"next year will be the year of Linux on the desktop", I'm not so sure 
I'd bank on it.

It may happen, and indeed Windows 8 may be more alienating to 
Microsoft's bread-and-button enterprise users than even Vista, to the 
point that we begin at long last to see a tipping point between that, 
the OEMs, and the game companies coming on board.

Or not.

It's an open question, and only time will tell.

In the meantime, one of the few certainties is that mobile is red hot 
right now so that seems to be the focus of RunRev's attention, and from 
a business perspective I support that.

It's worth noting that every release of the LiveCode engine in recent 
years has included fixes and enhancements for Linux, and having worked 
with some of the team members to help resolve a few of those I can say 
that it seems the effort is disproportionately favorable relative to 
income from that platform.

I'm not referring to licensees there, since of course that's the 
chickens-and-eggs problem you elude to earlier, and I agree that making 
money selling licenses would require more effort - at a bare minimum, 
both being in the Ubuntu Software Center and making it easy for LiveCode 
devs to get into there too.

I'm just referring to deployments:

If only a third of RunRev's audience were in any way interested in 
adding Linux to their deployment options, RunRev would take notice.

But given the history of the language, the LiveCode demographic is a bit 
more skewed to the 40+ crowd than other languages like Python, which 
more closely reflect the age spread of the programming gene pool as a whole.

Among Python devs you can usually safely assume they also have 
proficiency in at least JavaScript and Bash, probably some C, and 
probably at least one other language besides.  And they're generally 
comfortable with just about any useful OS.

In the LiveCode audience we have a disproportionate number of people for 
whom this is the only language they know.

Even with Microsoft still owning some 87% of the market, I still run 
across LiveCode devs who only develop for Mac because deploying to 
Windows would require a learning curve.

The learning curve with developing for Linux is no greater than for 
Windows (arguably a little less so for those Mac folks who are already 
comfortable with a few shell commands), but the payoff in terms of sales 
isn't nearly as big as for Windows so some say, "Why bother?"

So you like Linux, and I like it, and Andre and Mark and Obleo and a few 
dozen others do too.

But until a significant percentage of RunRev's business involves Linux, 
those of us who enjoy that platform will just have to be the pioneers to 
blaze the trail, occasionally waiting just a little longer for 
platform-specific fixes than our Mac- and Win-only counterparts.

Maybe some will follow, maybe none will.

But I use Linux primarily because it's fun, so I'm doing it regardless 
what anyone else does.

Use what works for you.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting:
  Webzine for LiveCode developers:
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