Open Source Kickstarter Report Card

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Tue Aug 18 00:19:01 CEST 2015

Monte Goulding wrote:

 >> On 18 Aug 2015, at 7:21 am, Richard Gaskin wrote:
 >> On the one hand I don't recall any specific promises made about
 >> PDF rendering in terms of licensing, but on the other hand that
 >> PDF widget was the example used in Kevin's video from July 2014
 >> to demonstrate the v8 architecture we all funded in the Kickstarter
 >> campaign, so I doubt he intends that one to be proprietary-only:
 >> < 
 >> Has anyone heard otherwise?
 > IIRC that was hooking into OS X apis not a cross platform library
 > like PDFium. Did the original email mention a PDF widget? I didn’t
 > get it.

It would seem what they showed then was less advanced than what anyone 
here would need.  And since you know of a good library that's 
cross-platform with compatible licensing you're ahead of them.

This plays interestingly into what Lyn Teyla just noted:

 > It's listed (under 'Add Ons you can get with credits') as
 > Business-only on the pricing page:

Well, isn't that a confusing page. :)

The PDF component doesn't yet exist, so whether it uses OS API calls or 
a library such as the one Monte found is unknown

Moreover, it isn't included with the Business package, but available for 
"1 credit" as one of a menu of option for which the Business license 
gets 20 "credits".

This implies that anyone using a proprietary license should be able to 
obtain this, and the other add-ons there, as a separate purchase.  But 
since no pricing is available for any of them in any currency other than 
"credits", the degree to which LiveCode Ltd. is interested in realizing 
the full revenue potential of these widgets is unknowable from the 
sparse info provided there.

Since most of the folks here have some form of proprietary license, the 
bigger question is: what do devs do when they want to develop open 
source works?

Do we make our own PDF widget?

Do we release it under dual-license?

Do we make the proprietary license available at a fee to offset costs?

And these raise still more questions:

What if the cost of a proprietary license for a community-driven widget 
is lower than the cost of the one available from LiveCode Ltd?  Might 
that take some of the the wind out efforts to promote the Business package?

What if the community-driven version is not only cheaper, but also 
outcompetes a LiveCode Ltd.-provided version with a richer feature set 
as well?  The air become as still as the Tradewinds during El Nino.

Rather than spend too much time indulging in conjecture about ways the 
company and their community may become competitors, it seems more 
productive -- and much simpler -- to focus on ways we can act as partners:

Given that:

- A PDF widget involves a functionality useful to open source projects
   using that open standard format, so community members would be
   unusually motivated to write one if needed

- Regardless who makes it, either version would likely carry a fee for
   use in proprietary apps

- This is just a 1-credit widget (all the others cost 10 "credits")

- It doesn't yet exist would seem in everyone's interest for the company to consider 
releasing a GPL-governed version of the PDF widget.

And it would benefit the company to describe pricing outside of 
"credits" for users with proprietary licenses other than Business so the 
vast majority of current license holders can use those components as 
well (read, "Please make it easy for me to give you money").

There's been so little info about this PDF thang that for all I know 
what I've described here may have been Kevin's plan all along. 
Hopefully he'll chime in to clarify.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at      

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