Quo Vadis Radiance - devotion, dollars, development

Hi all,

the feedback is quite overwhelming, I try to keep track of all points....

OK, one more time the money thing :-). Talking about money always
produces anger, so lets cool down again. No, Jack, no, I don't even
implicitely blame you or others. I can take myself as example. Funding
for Radiance from government/institutes was originally justified with a
political background, the concern for the enviromment, promoting energy
efficient lighting/daylighting etc. . Apparently (thanx to Chas for the
comprehensive historical background) it was Greg who made much more out
of it then intended and was able to smuggle it out to the public. And
now this tool is used in a wide range of commercial applications. But,
why should the US DOE have any interest in supporting e.g. me in getting
incredibly rich by making nice images of german architecture projects?
Thats why I simply made some hypothetical thoughts about other
(commercial )ways of financing software development. Nothing more,
nothing less.
In other words, if Greg and Peter and Schorsch now come together and
start up a company (the may call it Lightcosoft) and sell the current
stuff as 'Radiows 3000 NT', would someone buy it? I imagine that it's
too late now for that step.

Why would it be to late for it. You know Linux is free and gratis, but
Redhat makes good money with their Enterprise editions that have prices
ranging from 300 to 18,000 dollar. I think not many architects will want
to bother with downloading the source, putting everything to getter and
so on, they rather have a ready to use solution with support and
service. And who could better support them than the named persons ?

People have accustomed to the things. The
folks complain like mad about Autode$k and Microsoft, but at the same
time keep on buying their products. On the other hand, everyone praises
Radiance, but theres no money for development. Either I miss some
important point or things are really that strange.

The "no money" thing is a bit misleading. Radiance is just starting as
an Open Source project, it will take some time before it will attract
more developers. And those developers put time (read: money) in Radiance

Now forget about the money. There are other things in life, too, and if
you hop into the coffin, you can't take anything with you anyway.
Certainly there is much enthusiasm involved when people deal with
Radiance, either on the development side or on the users side. But if
things don't move or hang around with unclear status or direction, every
enthusiasm will wear out sooner or later. I made an interesting
observation (quite generally I have learned an awful lot from this
current discussion): Jack wrote that he once tested the direct cache but
didn't find it suitable (in the present form) for his working
environment. On reading this I noticed that this was the *first*
feedback at all I've got so far about if or if not this little hack is
of any use for people outside the few square meters of my flat. I'm not
naive, so I know that this is quite normal, and others face the same
problem, but it is simply totally inefficient. If an idea proves
useless, the sooner one abandons it and looks for something new, the
better, if it proves helpful, the sooner a solid version emerges out of
a first test prototype, the better. I dare say that even Greg would have
difficulties when developing something without any feedback from the
users side. Take this little example as one reason why I kicked off the
discussion about some form of coordinating the development.

And as we speak of development: from the repeatedly appearing statements
in Gregs answers I assume that he is not reaaaallllllly overwhelmingly
enthusiatic about modifications which mess with the core (the radius of
the core has of course yet to be defined). Let me simplify it (please
correct me if its oversimplified :slight_smile: ): "Do what you want, develop like
mad, but make it completely separable, don't touch the core!!!" I have
no problem at all accepting this, in fact that's just Gregs copyright
for the whole stuff. But at the same time I have doubts if that is
physically realistic. I don't need to always speak of pmap or dc here,
when I take a look at Jacks whishlist I find many topics calling for
quite comprehensive modifications. So once again the same question: to
develop or not develop ? One spontaneous solution to the problem (which
will secure a good sleep for Greg) would be a new name for a Radiance
which is not Radiance anymore because of substantial internal changes.

This is what happened to GCC, certain people went another direction and
started EGCS. This project ended up being very successful and later was
merged with GCC again to have best from both worlds.

Or look at Mozilla and Netscape. Netscape was the base for Mozilla, and
not it is turned around. They are not merged back again, but Netscape
uses a lot of code from Mozilla.

I see no problem in why this would not be possible for Radiance. The
current license allows you to do it. A "Radzilla" could be more
experimental, and Greg could work on the "official" Radiance. At some
point Greg might get convinced that for example the new build system
(just a random example) from "Radzilla" is good stable and useful that
he decides to also use it for Radiance. This way the stability and good
name of Radiance does not get compromised and also the development of
new and experimental features does not get stopped.


- Erwin


On Thu, 2003-12-11 at 00:01, Carsten Bauer wrote:

       Erwin Rol Software Engineering - http://www.erwinrol.com/