Can I use Revolution for this?

Dan Shafer dan at
Sat Aug 3 13:40:01 EDT 2002


>On Sat, 3 Aug 2002 Rodney Somerstein <rodneys at> wrote:
>>  I think that you have hit the nail on the head, so to speak. While
>>  you are trying to be polite and not judge Revolution on this, it
>>  seems that they are limiting things for just the reasons that you
>>  state.
>>  Again, the question is, why should I have to go through this? By
>>  paying for the license, I should be able to create a stack to do
>>  pretty much whatever I want without having to jump through such
>>  hoops.
>Even if this freedom means it would be trivial to put Runtime
>Revolution and MetaCard Corporation out of business?  I mean, it would
>take you all of 10 minutes to create your own Home stack, and post it
>to public sites (for free download) and instantly eliminate almost all
>sales of both products.  Which of course result in the ceassation of
>all future development of either?  Seems a pretty high price to pay
>for "freedom"...

Thanks for chiming in with the publisher's perspective here. I think 
it's always helpful to know what the folks who make these admittedly 
difficult trade-off decisions factor into their thinking.

And not in any way to question the decision -- which is certainly 
your right to make -- but I wonder if other options were considered 
or if they are technically feasible in this case.

There is an analogy here to creating Smalltalk stand-alones, a 
problem which I should point has not really ever been completely and 
satisfactorily solved but perhaps not for the reasons that are at 
stake here today. If it were possible to exclude from the standalone 
engines any ability to allow a user (as contrasted with a script) to 
use the development UI in any way, then by including license 
provisions that would prohibit creation of a product which directly 
competed with RR/MC and that would prohibit the creation of new tools 
that could be *used* to such an end, the intellectual property could 
be protected perhaps better than the current method allows.

All that said, I think I have also concluded after thinking a good 
bit about this in the past 24 hours that if one designs RR/MC 
products/stacks using object-oriented techniques where the 
customization that needs to be done at runtime can be done either by 
dynamic modification of existing scripts that fall within the runtime 
limits or, more practically and efficiently, by changing the values 
of custom properties. In fact, custom properties allow for a 
fantastic range of options in standalones. That feature was perhaps 
my biggest single reason for adopting PLUS in preference to HC later 
in the xCard world's early history.

I applaud you, Scott, for the great work on the MC engine and I'm 
really grateful for having found this great tool after years of 
"wishing" Apple had been able to be smart enough about HC to make it 
the success it truly deserved.
Dan Shafer
Technology Visionary - Technology Assessment - Documentation
"Looking at technology from every angle"
831-392-1127 Voice - 831-401-2531 Fax

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