Revenue and the Open Source edition

Earthednet-wp prothero at
Mon May 2 10:38:13 EDT 2016

Richmond, thanks for your forthright posts and entertaining metaphors!

Re fees, licenses, etc, I am a retired prof who spent a lot of years programming for research, then to support student learning in a large oceanography class. My son is an elementary teacher who teaches Lego robotics. It seems to me that a difficult, but ripe local market is being plumbed by Richmond. But, on a larger scale, I find teachers are easily put off by what appears to be complicated, time consuming new resources. They are extremely busy and collapse in a heap during their summer time off, unless they are running summer classes and "camps" (like my son is) to pay the bills. It seems to me that Richmond, so creative, is in a position to expand his business model to include teachers who want to teach basic programming, with a kid oriented approach. Perhaps to control dinosaur robots, or some such. I know there's scratch and all the Arduino resources, but perhaps there is a niche for livecode. But, bottom line, teachers need to get sucked in with a complete plug and play resource that will excite kids and require very little up front time. Maybe there would be an income stream? Online support, code help?? 

Just thinking aloud. Gotta go, bike ride to breakfast. Yum!


William Prothero

> On May 2, 2016, at 6:31 AM, RM <richmondmathewson at> wrote:
> That's a very well constructed bit of text and I tend to agree with you re "the best way to get the
> resources required for maintaining and improving the Open Source
> edition of LiveCode is actually to add Business-only features."
> I don't know whether RunRev's "goods and services" section is attracting any customers.
> Where I do take issue with Livecode is two-fold:
> 1. The rental concept: I would like to pay a flat fee that would buy me a version that would continue being usable as
> long as I decided its value had not been superseded by newer versions and/or feature creep in Operating systems.
> 2. The enormous differential between the FREE version and the Commercial version: this seems almost an unbridgeable
> gap.
> Richmond.
>> On 2.05.2016 15:40, Peter TB Brett wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I recently posted on the forums in reply to being asked why the PDF external is initially going to be exclusive to Business edition, and I thought it would be useful to cross-post it here.
>>> I am the main advocate for LiveCode Open Source within the LiveCode
>>> core dev team, and maybe I can address some of these issues.
>>> The core dev team needs to eat and pay rent, so LiveCode Ltd. has to
>>> make some money to help support LiveCode development. The vast
>>> majority of work we do (90%+) goes directly into the Open Source
>>> edition of LiveCode. To raise money to pay the core dev team's
>>> salaries, the company sells Indy and Business subscriptions that let
>>> people make closed-source programs with LiveCode.
>>> The revenue needs to grow, so that the core dev team can expand, so
>>> that all the things that people are asking for (like Raspberry Pi
>>> support, further work on HTML5 deployment, an improved networking
>>> library, etc.) can be created. This means getting more people to pay
>>> for subscriptions. However, many users don't think that Indy and
>>> Business are good value for money because "all" that they get is
>>> closed-source deployment. To help these users justify upgrading to a
>>> subscription, the company has bought in some externals from 3rd party
>>> vendors and bundled them into the Indy and Business editions -- first
>>> mergExt, and now a PDF external.
>>> At the moment, I am struggling in internal discussions when I argue
>>> for bringing neat new features to the Open Source edition. Evidence
>>> over the last year or so suggests that adding a feature to the
>>> Business or Indy edition makes a much bigger boost to subscription
>>> revenue -- revenue which funds improvements and maintenance of all
>>> editions of LiveCode. Even when you consider the new Business-only
>>> features like the PDF viewer, these still reflect a minority of the
>>> work we do; taking these into account still leaves almost all the
>>> work we do going directly into the Open Source edition of LiveCode.
>>> In many ways, I feel that at the moment the best way to get the
>>> resources required for maintaining and improving the Open Source
>>> edition of LiveCode is actually to add Business-only features. Do you
>>> have a better idea? For example, some people have suggested keeping
>>> the source code on GitHub but charging people for access to Community
>>> builds as a way to get revenue to support the Open Source edition.
>>> What do you think?
>> I know there are a lot of people who use the Open Source edition of LiveCode on this mailing list, and I would appreciate your feedback.
>>                                      Peter
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