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Can Proprietary Language Teams Succeed By Going Open Source? 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the reply-hazy-ask-again dept.
JerkyBoy writes "RunRev maintains the proprietary LiveCode programming environment. Those familiar with HyperCard on the Mac would feel quite at home using the environment to produce simple applications, and possibly more, although the programming language it incorporates has a few significant shortcomings (e.g., true object orientation). But it is a very versatile environment, currently claiming support for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and server-side scripting. For us NOOBs who could never find the time to learn C++ and something like the wxWidgets or QT toolkits, it seems like a pretty good deal. Recently RunRev has done something interesting, however, and that is to create a Kickstarter campaign to move the environment to open source (~500K lines of code, ~700 files). The way that they describe it, it sounds like there will be a commercial version and an open-source version of the environment (hopefully not cripple-ware), and they are asking for money to do this. But I want to know: what are their chances of success with this model? How in the world can they make enough money to maintain their programmers and overhead while giving the environment away? In other words, if a company like RunRev announces that they are moving to an open-source model, should you become more interested or less interested in their product?"
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Can Proprietary Language Teams Succeed By Going Open Source?

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  • Re:Yes. (Score:3, Informative)

    by fortyfoxes (2831679) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @07:28AM (#42776773)
    It's pretty close to the Blender story - where a closed source but active community decided to open up the source code in order to grow the community. See "3D software Blender's "community buy out" in 2002" - http://www.blender.org/blenderorg/blender-foundation/history/ [blender.org]. I was at the launch event, and they faced many of the same code issues that the LiveCode community now face - a large amount of legacy code written in a way which was difficult to open source. Blender is now the preeminent open source software for 3D modelling around the world - and LiveCode has the potential to be much bigger - as it applies to a more general audience of developers interested in desktop, server side, mobile and tablet apps across multiple platforms - in a language which is literally child's play to learn. Anyone interested in getting more people into coding, and therefore getting a wider understanding of some of the most important technologies that are shaping our future - should give the KickStarer a look. This is more than an educational project, it is about democratising programming - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1755283828/open-source-edition-of-livecode [kickstarter.com]

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