Building stuff

David Bovill david.bovill at
Mon Sep 6 08:27:45 EDT 2021

It’s a good question - what to build with regard to the sort of tools and components a vibrant developer community expects. I only know about examples of open source communities, and though I’d be interested in exploring how such a coding community might work with alternative closed licensing schemes - the only example that I know of would be music licensing - so I’ll stick to open source examples.

Andre mentions the following list:

1. Package Manager
2. Tools and Libraries
3. Community Evangelism
4. Business Model - Ecosystem of Companies

I think that should be a good list to start with. Challenge accepted.

I’m on family holiday now, pulled a back muscle showing off to the kids, and applying for investment to help develop the above. PS if anyone would like to help get involved please drop us a line.

Here are my introductory notes on each of the four points, specifically with regard what to build:

Package Manager
Trevor’s Levure framework, seems a good starting point. I independently developed a similarly structured set of tools, which complements Levure (same folder structure) - so it seems natural to modify my tools a bit to enable them to work with Levure.

However this is not exactly a package manager. I’ve explored the idea of using an existing package manager, and simply interfacing with it like I currently interface with git and GitHub - using shell and Api commands. Right now I think deno is a better fit with LiveCode but that would need a bit more research before taking the plunge.

So in terms of building. I’d like to release my git and GitHub libraries and IDE integration tools and work out the best way to integrate them with a proper package manager by writing and researching options (point 4 - evangelism).

Tools and Libraries
In terms of building, Id like to release libraries distributed on GitHub and as part using the package manager - however initially basic above. Need to consider whether to change the licence from GPL to MIT in order to fit with Livecode Ltd’s new approach (this relates to Business Model below).

In terms of early action - that means organising existing open sourced code based in one place and linking that to the other components.

Community Evangelism
It’s important to make this fun, and inspiring. I’ve been working on a podcasting environment built using LiveCode community edition - and reaching out to interesting projects and speakers within and outside of the community would be a key party of that.

To make this interesting enough to developers and an audience outside of the existing community, my focus would be on Open Language and the history (and future) of literate programming language.

There is a great deal of free culture (ccby4.0) licensed content available and linking this to the existing LiveCode Dictionary in a more accessible form of documentation can provide a valuable resource that can help build an active community.

So in terms of doing and making - I’ve reached out to a couple of communities to help with this “documentation project” around literate languages, and well… we’ll see where the interest goes.

The documentation will be published to the three “wiki” communities - federated wiki, TiddlyWiki and Massive Wiki as json and markdown files that each community can contribute too. JavaScript will be a significant part of this I suspect.

Business Model
This aspect is one of the most interesting. There is currently a lot if change and opportunity in new business models around code and language design. I believe we should discuss these. Seek investment and apply for funding.

I would love to see an independent community effort to create an Open Language Foundation that would help finance the ongoing development of Open Language. An open rather than closed discussion of these possibilities I would see best done as part of the podcast / evangelism.

I hope some of these ideas appeal, to members of the list here. I’m personally committed to this path as I work on a new literate language, and had been developing much of the above to start by November this year anyway - so it seems a waste more to release.

📆    Schedule a call with me
On 6 Sep 2021, 12:22 +0100, Andre Garzia via use-livecode <use-livecode at>, wrote:
> Don’t know how many people here remember that they tried that approach with Dreamcard. I really like it, but in the end it didn’t work for the company. I see many members here in the list saying “what should be done”, “what would have worked”, and I wanted to remember every one that while speculation is fun and a healthy practice, it is not necessarily a representation of truth. We don’t know what could have worked, very few people here know the day to day managing of LiveCode Ltd to judge what are their best options. What people here can do is lobby from the user’s point of view, and yet I see a ton of people “playing CEO with these emails”, that is not productive IMHO.
> Let’s take a step back for a second and realise as a community we lack many things that other programming language communities have. We do have a very healthy mailing list, forum, and occasional conference. We’re all friends, and many of us have known each other for decades. Those are things that many, if not most, programming language communities do not have. And yet we have not fostered many of the ancillary things that most communities do.
> * We have very few open source projects in the community, and the ones we have have very few contributors.
> * We have not build anything like a package manager to help us share code around. The IDE built-in extension store, and code sharing features are extremely simple.
> * We don’t have an ecosystem of tools and libraries around. We have some tools and some libraries.
> * We don’t have many people writing blogs, making videos, writing books, and fostering the community.
> * There are very few services and companies besides LiveCode Ltd offering products to the community.
> All items mentioned above are important regardless if LiveCode Community Edition is around or not. Without those things, it is very hard for any FOSS initiative to blossom. Without those things, it is very hard to make a programming language community feel vibrant and alive. We had eight years of LC Community Edition, and as a community we haven’t really cared to nurture it. Very few people contributed patches. We all loved having it, we were just not putting enough care into it. And that is how FOSS dies.
> What is most important is that the Community Edition was not the on-ramp path to attract new users and then lead them towards a commercial license. What happened was the opposite, Community users stayed with the Community Edition and many paying users migrated to the FOSS offer. If the business model of LC was different, if they had structured it all differently, maybe it could have worked, but that is just speculation, we don’t know it might have failed in such manner that LC Ltd would be dead.
> What I do know, and I know quite a lot about programming language communities, is that without more than just a mailing list and forum, you can’t have a vibrant community. Without a community that feels engaging and alive, you don’t get new users.
> I’m happy paying for my license because I can see the value LC provides me, and how my money directly affects their ability to output quality stuff. I love FOSS, but I’d rather have a healthy LC Ltd around with the resources to keep building amazing goodies. We as a community can build all the cool stuff around the proprietary language, there is a ton of things we could have that would make this a more lively place.
> The question is, who here wants to build stuff?
> A
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