Critical mass

Want to talk about something that isn't covered by another category?

Moderators: Klaus, FourthWorld, heatherlaine, robinmiller, kevinmiller

How to reach the critical mass?

Poll ended at Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:21 pm

More videos
0
No votes
Promotion on journals
0
No votes
Promotion on blogs
1
5%
Promotion on social networks (Facebook, G+, etc.)
1
5%
Interview videos
0
No votes
More examples
7
37%
A better homepage
2
11%
Success stories
0
No votes
No action, Livecode is well known
0
No votes
Other...
8
42%
 
Total votes: 19

Mark
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Re: Critical mass

Post by Mark » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:25 pm

Richard,

Navigability doesn't boil down to the lack of a showcase section. There are some very big and at the same time basic issues with this website, which need to be solved. The bug report doesn't cover that.

Kind regards,

Mark
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Re: Critical mass

Post by FourthWorld » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:32 pm

richmond62 wrote:Actually, the way RunRev's website, name of product, icon changes, and so on have been transmogrified a fair, few times over a relatively short-period make me think of a company that keeps chasing short-term gains, rather than a company that is settling down for the long-term and establishing a long-lived, solid reputation.
Since the switch to FOSS last year, the name and icons have been consistent. Given the magnitude of the switch, we would expect a completely new rebranding for a new entrant into the FOSS universe.

Earlier the product name was "Revolution" for most of its history, except for a couple if early years in which one of the low-end options was named "DreamCard". There were variants of the "Revolution" name for different packages, ("Enterprise", "Pro" etc.), but the core name was "Revolution" for most of it.

While "LiveCode" may not be a perfect name, and I had originally argued against changing it, after seeing the results I've come to respect that it's far more descriptive, and much more beneficial for web discovery.

All the while the company name has remained "RunRev Ltd" ever since before their acquisition of the technology from MetaCard Corp. more than a decade ago, in contrast to the long chain of ownership changes for Toolbook, Gain Momentum, and others.
I do feel that RunRev are not behaving like a company that produces an Open Source product, insofar as they do not appear to take heed to the sort of criticisms as points #1 and #2 above [which have been made in far more trenchant terms by people 'nearer to the throne' than me].
Try hanging out in the Ubuntu forums. :) Not only will you find frequent and sweeping moderation (as with many FOSS project forums), but you'll also find a great many people who share the same sentiments about community responsiveness with the world's most popular open source operating system.

Open source is a great process for many projects, but arguably more complex than single-vendor proprietary works because the community involvement requires adding as much sociology to the mix of skill sets needed as it does technology.

Even with Canonical, armed with one of the most experienced Community Managers ever, Jono Bacon, the project regularly meets with intense criticism on everything from UI to core tech to web design.

This is all new to RunRev, and like Canonical they're finding their way as they go. Yet for all their stumbles in the process, they're doing fairly well compared to the early years of Mozilla and many other FOSS projects.

Jono has written a valuable book about the role of community management in open source, probably the most comprehensive book of its kind yet:

The Art of Community
http://www.artofcommunityonline.org/

In the spirit of open source, the publisher, O'Reilly, makes a PDF version of the book available there for free, and if you choose to support it you can purchase a printed copy there as well.

It's a good read. Kevin's been reading it, and at least one other on the team as well. It's not a magic pony; good community takes lots of work, and every project is different so there's always an element of learn-as-you-go. But it provides helpful reminders of many factors that help grow strong community-driven projects.

On our side, as community members, there's plenty we can do as well. Identifying actionable opportunities for LiveCode to reach critical mass is one of them, and we're already seeing very useful outcomes from this thread.
Richard Gaskin
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Re: Critical mass

Post by FourthWorld » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:37 pm

Mark wrote:Navigability doesn't boil down to the lack of a showcase section. There are some very big and at the same time basic issues with this website, which need to be solved. The bug report doesn't cover that.
Of course, which is why I immediately followed my mention of that one issue with:
If you find others let's explore those and see what we can do to improve the site's navigation.
What other specific navigation issues have you found with the site? Can you share the report numbers for the ones you've submitted?
Richard Gaskin
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Re: Critical mass

Post by amthonyblack » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:37 pm

Klaus wrote:
amthonyblack wrote:Thanks Krauss...
A little more attention, please, thank you 8)
LOL. My apologies...actually better typing needed.

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Re: Critical mass

Post by paul_gr » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:44 pm

Lot of good points made so far.
First perceptions are important when using a product for the first time; how a product looks and feels is as important as what it can do. Whether we like it or not that's how the world works.
New users are greeted with a tired old interface that looks and feels 10 years out of date.
I know of several paying customers that quit using LC because of the interface alone.
They liked the programming language but got tired of constantly moving windows out of their way, especially on notebook screens.
Dragging separate windows around is a PITA.

Get rid of these archaic floating windows; They are just a hangover from the old Mac world -- and it shows.
Put everything in one window like ALL other IDE's do.
NOBODY uses separate windows anymore.

Paul

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Re: Critical mass

Post by FourthWorld » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:53 pm

paul_gr wrote:Dragging separate windows around is a PITA.

Get rid of these archaic floating windows; They are just a hangover from the old Mac world -- and it shows.
Put everything in one window like ALL other IDE's do.
NOBODY uses separate windows anymore.
I've thought about that over the years, but have been unable to come up with a solution that makes sense for LiveCode. Perhaps others in this discussion will be able to come through on this.

The challenge with LC is that it differs from these other environments in its absence of a compile-runtime cycle. In XCode, Xojo, or VB, for example, the "window" you're laying out controls in isn't a window per se at all, but a proxy of a window that will be created later after you compile.

With LC, the window you're building is also the window you'll run - indeed, it actually is running even in the IDE.

So given that the window is a real window rather than a proxy, attaching the various toolbars to it would turn your window into the IDE's window, obviating opportunities for seeing the true, "live" runtime behavior which characterizes LC.

But I agree that for many, esp. those familiar with the proxy-oriented IDEs, it would be nice to bind all the windows together.

Any thoughts on how that could be done while still preserving the window as a discrete runtime object?
Richard Gaskin
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Re: Critical mass

Post by amthonyblack » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:23 pm

FourthWorld wrote: On our side, as community members, there's plenty we can do as well. Identifying actionable opportunities for LiveCode to reach critical mass is one of them, and we're already seeing very useful outcomes from this thread.
I don't know anyone's time constraints but would a community project be feasible? A Web based app would probably be most feasible for collaboration. I have not been able to find anything server side related. Frankly it could even be a clone but just to say "here this is how well livecode keeps up with the big name platforms". Besides that I think after the press the kickstarter program got it would generate a good deal of great press if Revrun held a contest awarding perhaps one of the very people that help funded it. Right now this is on a sales page

"Join the others who have built multi-million dollar businesses, business systems and number one apps with LiveCode."

It would blow things up pretty big if we could see one of these multi-million dollar apps especially if Runrev awarded them in contest (that would draw in a number of nice entries) and helped them even in the post open source era.

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Re: Critical mass

Post by amthonyblack » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:35 pm

FourthWorld wrote: So given that the window is a real window rather than a proxy, attaching the various toolbars to it would turn your window into the IDE's window, obviating opportunities for seeing the true, "live" runtime behavior which characterizes LC.
I'm a newb and know nothing but was just curious. Merely the action of docking a window (as so many applications do) would force the IDE to function differently? When i first used livecode I did think the windows would be dockable

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Re: Critical mass

Post by FourthWorld » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:58 pm

amthonyblack wrote:I don't know anyone's time constraints but would a community project be feasible? A Web based app would probably be most feasible for collaboration.
A number of people have expressed interest in this, often with an emphasis on a wiki-like system, and I've offered to host it as one of the community resources at LiveCodeJournal.com.

But with my volunteer time already taken up with Ubuntu and a couple other projects, I know I can't manage that, and no one else has yet stepped forward with a willingness to do so.

My offer still stands, though: I have plenty of server space, a few tools, and can probably help with some aspects of it from time to time if someone is in a position to manage it.
Besides that I think after the press the kickstarter program got it would generate a good deal of great press if Revrun held a contest awarding perhaps one of the very people that help funded it. Right now this is on a sales page
URL?

RunRev is keen on gamification for community contributions, and I believe some of that has been discussed in the Engine Contributors section of these forums.

Extending that in the form of a contest may also be good, but it may also only produce smaller apps, since most contests can't offer enough of a prize to make serious development worthwhile, or have the time needed for developing a truly sophisticated app.

For example:
"Join the others who have built multi-million dollar businesses, business systems and number one apps with LiveCode."

It would blow things up pretty big if we could see one of these multi-million dollar apps especially if Runrev awarded them in contest (that would draw in a number of nice entries) and helped them even in the post open source era.
Building a multi-million-dollar business isn't a function of any development tool, but of entrepreneurship.

A good tool like LiveCode can help, but only so much. A lot goes into making a hugely-successful business, and the parts of that which a development tool can affect is relatively small: prototyping, development, some aspects of testing, and some aspects of deployment.

The bigger tasks are market research, competitive analysis, funding, workflow analysis, design, hiring, team management, reach monitoring, and much more. All told, any product development methodology can probably affect less than 30% of the tasks that comprise a successful software publishing business.

Consider XCode: the most popular choice for iOS development, yet half of all app store revenues go to only 100 developers, while most make between minimum wage and zero.

Building a successful business isn't about tools, and is already inherently gamified with a single score: ROI.
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Re: Critical mass

Post by FourthWorld » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:25 pm

amthonyblack wrote:Merely the action of docking a window (as so many applications do) would force the IDE to function differently? When i first used livecode I did think the windows would be dockable
For starters, given the many patents around for docking I trust they'd be very careful about how they might chose to go about it - even the infamous old Adobe patent is still in force for another couple years, and the Microsoft patents are allowable only when using MS APIs on their platforms.

Just a few examples:
http://www.google.sc/patents/US5808610
http://www.google.com/patents/US5977973
https://www.google.com/patents/US8046712

But even if we come up with a way that avoids patent issues, there are UI and script API issues to resolve.

For example, what is the rect of a window which is comprised of two windows docked together? Windows provides APIs for docking that preserve some understanding of the core window rects, but AFAIK neither OS X or GTK have such abilities.

RunRev could probably workaround that, but in terms of runtime behavior what really would that mean? Is the rect of a window the rect of its proxy or the bounding rect of the canvas it's rendered in? Obviously it would be more desirable to use the former, but what exactly is a window that isn't actually a window but merely a rendering of one? And what is this new invention of the canvas window that contains other windows?

And what does it mean to "close" a window which is bound to other windows that don't close? Or to "open" a window that doesn't really open?

How do you test resizing behaviors, or relayering, or script an always-on-top window like a palette or systemWindow while still containing it within another window?

And at what point does a window become undocked?

It's a deep issue with an uncommon tool like LC.

In all desktop environments LC currently support, they provide routines which allow a tool like LC to instantiate and manipulate real OS-native window objects. If LC were to move away from that to invent a docking system, they'd not only have to write the code the OS currently provides in order to emulate the relevant OS appearances and behaviors, but also introduce for us a new division between runtime and development.

The latter is an inherent part of runtime-compile-cycle-driven systems, but many who use LC enjoy not having that division.

Fortunately, if you think about it long enough, it seems that it's really only an issue with what it for most app the shortest part of the development cycle: layout.

The time it takes to drop controls and position them is minor, and often done only once. You may add others or tweak as you go, but most of your time is spent coding and testing - and for that you'll want native runtime behaviors.

The biggest downside with not having a docking system is not that it's a big benefit to the overall workflow, but that it's the first part of the workflow, and first impressions count.

People who've spent a lot of time in other IDEs may find it off-putting at first, regardless whether it actually makes much of a material difference over the whole of the development cycle.

I think it may be worth exploring, but it's not easy to both satisfy that and retain the things that make LiveCode uniquely worthwhile.
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Re: Critical mass

Post by amthonyblack » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:06 am

FourthWorld wrote: Building a multi-million-dollar business isn't a function of any development tool, but of entrepreneurship.....Building a successful business isn't about tools
Thats extremely obvious Richard. Don't assume you are talking to children who need instruction on business in your posts. Some could teach you twice what you know. I built my business from scratch to the success it is today on entrepeneurship. Who doesn't? The point is pretty redundant. However when you put a line like that right before a sign up button and tell people they can begin to join them it implies that there are companies that ARE using the software as central part of that multi million dollar business and yes pretty much implies the software sales or consultancy are central to that income . That pretty much destroys the rest of the apologetic you just posted. Theres no hopping around and ducking on that. it is what it is. The marketing blurb states what the multi million dollar business built was built "WITH LIVECODE" and states it point blank.
yet half of all app store revenues go to only 100 developers, while most make between minimum wage and zero.
Yes and that would be precisely the point. No matter if its a hundred its a hundred they can show. Xcode has no credibility issue with what can be built with it. There was never any point being made about a democracy or percentage of users either. I don't know where you got off on that point from.

oh you asked for the link

http://codingschool.livecode.com/index. ... s-included

Bottom of the page right above the big BUY NOW button :wink:
Extending that in the form of a contest may also be good, but it may also only produce smaller apps, since most contests can't offer enough of a prize to make serious development worthwhile, or have the time needed for developing a truly sophisticated app.
Why would that be? i am told there are many great apps out there and being made. it takes 5 minutes to enter one that is already in existence. The monetary prize need not be big at all. No one builds commercial apps selling to the public? I know of no such entrepreneur turning down exposure to the public.
Last edited by amthonyblack on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Critical mass

Post by dave.kilroy » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:23 am

Hi all - when I chose "more examples" I assumed I was voting for "more examples of stuff built with LiveCode", if the option had read "more scripting examples" I would have chosen "other" using Richard's interpretation...
FourthWorld wrote:
Mark wrote:I'd like someone who voted for "more examples" to explain very briefly and clearly why s/he made that vote. There are plenty if examples IMHO, they're just difficult to find. More examples that are equally difficult to find won't help.
Thank you, Mark. I was wondering the same thing, that perhaps my "Other" vote asking for more examples of finished products might be the same as the "More Examples" option, which I had taken to mean example scripting tutorials.
"...this is not the code you are looking for..."

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Re: Critical mass

Post by FourthWorld » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:15 am

amthonyblack wrote:
FourthWorld wrote: Building a multi-million-dollar business isn't a function of any development tool, but of entrepreneurship.....Building a successful business isn't about tools
Thats extremely obvious Richard. Don't assume you are talking to children who need instruction on business in your posts. Some could teach you twice what you know. I built my business from scratch to the success it is today on entrepeneurship. Who doesn't? The point is pretty redundant. However when you put a line like that right before a sign up button and tell people they can begin to join them it implies that there are companies that ARE using the software as central part of that multi million dollar business and yes pretty much implies the software sales or consultancy are central to that income . That pretty much destroys the rest of the apologetic you just posted. Theres no hopping around and ducking on that. it is what it is. The "WITH LIVECODE" states it point blank.
yet half of all app store revenues go to only 100 developers, while most make between minimum wage and zero.
Yes and that would be precisely the point. No matter if its a hundred its a hundred they can show. There was never any point being made about a democracy or percentage of users. I don't know where you got off on that point from.

oh you asked for the link

http://codingschool.livecode.com/index. ... s-included

Bottom of the page right above the big BUY NOW button :wink:
I had taken the time to reply to your post because I had assumed it was in earnest, in which you suggested RunRev host a contest for building a successful app. Since you've already made it very clear that simple apps aren't satisfying for you, the contest you proposed becomes a bit more challenging given the scope tasks and costs involved in making a truly sophisticated app. The rest of my post merely outlined those challenges.

Thank you for clarifying that your issue is actually with some copy on a page at a LiveCode site.

As you know from your own business successes, it's helpful to show how a useful tool or service can be used to support a process that leads to success.

On the Xojo case studies pages you've mentioned before, for example, they describe dozens of apps, but make no claims that reading the page and clicking the Buy Now button that's on each one will guarantee that your project will be as successful. Same goes for the galleries at the Adobe site, the case studies at apple.com, and given how successful your businesses are I'm confident you provide case studies and customer testimonials for similar reasons.

Most healthy companies tell the stories of their successful customers, and RunRev does too. This is not because anyone imagines LiveCode is the sole defining factor of that success, but because successful people are often smart people, and at least some smart people choose LiveCode, which is all that page says.

Please note that I'm just a member of the LiveCode community, and am not employed by RunRev. If you have suggestions for specific changes to RunRev's web site you're welcome to submit a but report on those.
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Re: Critical mass

Post by amthonyblack » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:13 am

FourthWorld wrote: I had taken the time to reply to your post because I had assumed it was in earnest.................................
Thank you for clarifying that your issue is actually with some copy on a page at a LiveCode site.
You may mod this board but you don't get to tell me what my issue actually is and imply I was being disingenuous I was in earnest and I do think that it would help the issues discussed. You chose to lecture on what a successful business is about when that was not the issue so I pointed out that the sentence does in fact imply exactly that the software was central to the success spoken of. Your objections to the contest are fine as it was just a suggestion - a constructive one which in characteristic form you spun into something disingenuous to suit your own purposes.

The reason you state however is odd in that it implies that there are not people in the last year or right now building apps for entirely non contest reasons that could submit theirs in a few minutes. you have claimed the contrary often to me - that there are many. So its not an incentive to start coding but to submit the ones you claim are out there. Simple.
On the Xojo case studies pages you've mentioned before, for example, they describe dozens of apps, but make no claims that reading the page and clicking the Buy Now button that's on each one will guarantee that your project will be as successful.
I don't know if this is your usual form or you are bent out of shape due to your emotions but kindly cease an desist from BLATANTLY dishonestly twisting what I wrote. I said nothing ANYWHERE ANYTHING about guaranteeing anything and absolutely nothing, nyet, nada about any particular project being guaranteed. Again stop trying to denigrate and belittle by way of constructing a strawman and putting it into my mouth just so you can introduce this idea of guarantee that you have constructed in your own head. Bad form and intellectually dishonest. Does the marketing blurb suggest that there are success multi million dollar successes out there, Yes it does. Get over it. Argue with them if you wish. Its a fact that it says built with livecode. So i stated it would be good to promote ONE not guarantee all. Your logic is baffling to create a "guarantee" argument out of that.
Last edited by amthonyblack on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Critical mass

Post by amthonyblack » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:17 am

Most healthy companies tell the stories of their successful customers, and RunRev does too. This is not because anyone imagines LiveCode is the sole defining factor of that success,
.


More straw. No? then show me anywhere I ever used the word "sole" "guaranteed" or any of the other stuff you are dreaming up. Does the marketing suggest rather point blank that its software created with livecode that leads to the revenue? Yes it suggest that directly and thats the only point I made - that perhaps a contest would highlight one such success not guarantee all. Sheesh - now your fanboyism is constructing imaginary tales and responding to them.
Please note that I'm just a member of the LiveCode community, and am not employed by RunRev.
Thanks for that I was beginning to wonder what stakes you had to be so desperate to contort what i wrote. Perhaps though you should have told me you were associated. I would have been out of thinking about using Livecode like a bat out of hell if you did. The problem with you Richard is you get your feelings hurt when there is or you think there is a slight against livecode the company and thats not a good thing for an open source community - its horrible in fact.

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