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R: Consortium Caml
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Date: 2001-02-12 (12:41)
From: Daniel de Rauglaudre <daniel.de_rauglaudre@i...>
Subject: Re: R: Consortium Caml

On Sun, Feb 11, 2001 at 01:05:54PM +0100, Markus Mottl wrote:

>   * There is still not enough incentive for companies (or financially
>     capable individuals) to donate/sponsor/invest. Most will probably
>     take the position "Let's look and see how things develop". Why should
>     they pay for the warranty that OCaml continues if other companies
>     could do this?

Consortium is for companies which *already* believe in OCaml, not for
a hypothetic investment! If there are no such companies, ok, the
Consortium will fail, that's all. It is not a problem for us. The
Consortium is not a start up!

>   * In practice "sponsors" (be it in arts, sports, etc.) do have
>     advantages in sponsoring: they get a (most likely cheap) way of
>     marketing.

Ok. Perhaps we could not call that "sponsoring", ok ok.

>   * So you really think that there are already enough commercial companies
>     using OCaml to such an extent that their future only marginally
>     depends on it?

In this case, if there exist no companies able to spend 2KE by year in the
world and loving OCaml, the Consortium fails. What is the problem?

>   * It is realistic to assume that companies already using OCaml want to
>     continue doing so - but they don't want to continue bearing the risk.

Which risk? You mean 2KE or you mean OCaml? I am sure that there are a
lot of companies for which 2KE/year is peanuts.

>     Making them (in addition to the technological risk) take financial
>     burdens is not very attractive: who has said that they *want* to
>     vote in a Consortium? Maybe they are satisfied with the technological
>     decisions? So what else do they get in exchange for their donation?

Ok. Let's continue like that, no problem. If you think that OCaml does
not deserve some investment to add libraries, programs, to discuss
together for the choices in the language, then the Consortium
fails. There is no problem. The Consortium is not a start up. It is a
proposition. If people think that this proposition is not the good
one, then it fails.

>     You'll hardly raise enough money without investors who only want to
>     take the risk - in exchange for a potential future profit.

When you buy a car, do you consider that your money is a "risk" and
you want some "profit" back? I would understand if the fee was 2ME,
but 2KE, are you laughing?

> > But if you are the boss of a big company and decide
> > to use it, it can be terrible if it no more supported.
> Right! Therefore bosses do not decide to use OCaml. Does reality teach
> you otherwise?

I am not sure of that. You consider that bosses are just interested on
investment, get money, money, money? Ok, money is important, but
it is not all. You may consider that you have technical decisions to
take, and the result may be OCaml. If you consider that your programmers
loose too much time debugging languages with pointers raising Memory

In this case, as a boss, you may think that you loose too much money
using bad programming languages.

> It is not uncommon among technically oriented people to think that
> managers are incompetent, because managers don't see the potential of
> new technologies.

Yes, I see that it is what you are thinking! I don't.

> If you use OCaml for some project, your opportunity costs are that you
> cannot use Java (or else) as substitute at the same time. Most people
> here will probably agree that OCaml is generally the technically better
> choice (your opportunity costs are lower). Thus, it can be a rational
> decision to use OCaml (not necessarily from a long term point of view
> if OCaml does not have a future!).

The idea of the Consortium is not to convice companies to use OCaml.
Ad is important, but it is not the point of the Consortium. It is for
companies which already use it, to help them to have more confidence
about OCaml.

The Consortium is not advertising for OCaml.

> But *at the same time* it can be a perfectly rational decision to buy
> shares from Sun rather than donate to OCaml if you think that Java will
> offer Sun an advantage over competitors and that this is not yet fully
> reflected in the price. There is (currently) no financial advantage in
> becoming a member of the OCaml-consortium!

Yes, if you consider that OCaml has no advantage relative to Java. In
this case: don't pay. What is the problem?

> If you want to make OCaml successful, you need to also make it a
> potentially profitable investment from a financial point of view. Money
> always goes the way where it has the best chance of high return, which
> does not mean that you (or I) like this way - so we better build one:
> to OCaml...

How on earth could you consider that we can get money from a programming
language? Explain me that! You can't. I prefer that OCaml remains a good
product rather than a well known product. There is no problem than the
Consortium fails. It is just a proposition. You seem to consider that
it must fail. Ok, it's your opinion. You may be right. Let's see.