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Date: -- (:)
From: Kuba Ober <ober.14@o...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Re: The OCaml Community (aka back from the Developer Days)
On Wednesday 30 January 2008, Jon Harrop wrote:
> On Wednesday 30 January 2008 13:04:06 Kuba Ober wrote:
> > > Sorry for the direct language, but you provoked it. It is a pity to
> > > lose Jane Street as supporter of GODI. If you still want to enter into
> > > a constructive dialog, I'm open to it.
> >
> > I think that Markus's post was reasonably well balanced, and he presented
> > a humble view from his experience. It didn't look like bashing nor
> > flamethrowing to me. The facts in question can be disputed, but they
> > really have nothing to do about who profits from what and who pays for
> > what. Let's leave the economics out of the merit discussion -- doesn't
> > that only make sense?
> If I might just drag economics back in momentarily. :-)
> People have mentioned "volunteers" but I think it is worth pointing out
> that this could also be run as a business, with users paying for work that
> they want done. Perhaps a system of charging customers and letting them
> choose what work and which developer would increase overall productivity
> and be relatively easy to implement?
> INRIA could doubtless make a lot of money by doing this so I proposed the
> idea to Xavier but he wants to focus on research and not ordinary software
> development and maintainence, of course.

It would make sense as a business venture when you'd throw in some economy of 
scale. MS can sell visual studio for peanuts, and keep that business unit out 
of the red, of course because they sell so many.

For relatively small projects like OCaml, any "pay for a feature" scheme would 
necessarily be out of reach of many customers. Maybe Jane Street could afford 
to pay $100/hr consulting rate to a seasoned OCaml hacker, but for most of us 
that makes little financial sense.

I guess it's a big stride to break that small-to-mid-scale barrier. Trolltech 
had done that, and they are IMHO good technical innvoators too. If there was 
a way for some OCaml-centric business to do what Trolltech had done, it could 
probably take off and make very feature-rich OCaml environment available for 
a good price I wouldn't mind paying $1500/year for an OCaml environment that 
could run natively (as in no .net and no Cygwin dependencies) on Windows and 
Linux, and just "do the job". Qt is really nice in that regard: you only need 
the C++ compiler, and everything else is included and ready to go. It even 
builds its own build tools (qmake, moc, uic).

Cheers, Kuba