Open Sourcing the B4X Engine?

ShaneG30

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I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but @Erel, have you considered open sourcing the framework/engine behind B4X?

There are similar commercial products that have open sourced their engine, such as Stencyl. This would give the open source community good feelings about B4X.
 

ShaneG30

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Sounds like an interesting product but not for me...



:confused: Where's the fun in that?
That's just an example of a paid product open sourcing it's engine ;)
 

lemonisdead

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Remembering the good old days when b4a was a product and not just a concept...
 
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Beja

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I think whitesoft is talking about the kernel.. (the meat and bones)..
 

Troberg

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As much as I love open source, if it is to be done, it has to be done with extreme care. We don't want to risk ending up with a mess like Eclipse.

B4A is very much driven by a vision, and that vision needs to be maintained. So, basically, Erel would have to be "in command", and changes would have to be merged with care and only when they fit within the vision.

An easier way to go, some kind of halfway measure, would be to write some license that people can publish their libraries under, which would allow Erel to publish them with the standard B4X package (though, possibly, marked in some way as unsupported). There are many good libraries out there that really ought to be in the standard install.
 

Beja

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Not sure what you mean with kernel :) ?
brx is already half open source, as long as you can write libraries.. with above I mean the half-way compiler (or interpreter) to convert b4x code to Java.
 

ShaneG30

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Do you mean the IDE or the libraries (or both)?

I don't see it happening.
I actually mean the "engine" aka the framework. The IDE itself can stay closed, just like how the Stencyl IDE is closed. However, if you can open source even a little bit, like the libraries that come with B4X , I would be happy. Do understand you not wanting to do so.
 

Beja

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Hi,
I don't see any library open, even the external ones written by member of the forum.. may be classes or code fragments, so I don't expect Software Anywhere will expose it's technology.. this is a commercial software in the first place and it's subject to all protection.
 

Troberg

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Commercial and open source does not have to contradict each other. There are several commercial products which are open source, such as Android, MySQL, Mambo and lots of others. One just has to rethink the business modell a little.
 

lemonisdead

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OK Troberg but for who is that so interesting ?

I will be against all the others by saying that but : I do prefer to pay AnyWhereSoftware the right to use a software because I need AnyWhereSoftware to continue living and making profits and being able to provide support etc.
Who cares about an open source component ? Probably the ones who are thinking about making some profits with ? Me I don't care at all. More : I don't want a geeky to know what is done inside the software I use. I want AnyWhereSoftware to be the sole responsible for the software I use.
 

Troberg

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The main advantage is that developers tend to see problems and fix them. For example, I'm hunting a very strange bug now, which is probably "under the hood". If I had the source, it would be easier to find, and chances are, once located, I would fix it and send the fix to Erel, so he could, if he wanted to, include it. Better product, less work for Erel.

Also, open source does not in any way imply free of charge. It's perfectly possible to have a paid for open source product. It only implies the availability of the code and the right to modify it. Some licenses go further, but it's not a necessary step.
 

ShaneG30

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Commercial and open source does not have to contradict each other
That's why I included Stencyl as an example as Stencyl is a commercial product. Its engine is OSS, but its IDE isn't. I really don't care if the IDE is open or not. The IDE is the front-end, while the framework is the back-end.

Better product, less work for Erel
Exactly. Need feature "A"? See if you can code it yourself. If you do, then you can commit it to your repo, then submit a pull request to Erel. If your pull request is accepted, then feature "A" would be released at some point in the near future.

Open Source is very healthy, whether if your a commercial product or not.
 

Beja

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Open source needs special infra-structure.. you can't just write the code and release it.. you should have full control in it's development by others and have the (tools) to do that.
With regards to the bug you are suspecting that it's in the source code, first, you can't make sure 100% about that.. second, how did you discover the big? in your project I think, so you
can just report it to Anywhere Software.. then Erel will track it down... (bugs and wish list forum).

My two cents :)
 

Troberg

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Open source needs special infra-structure.. you can't just write the code and release it.. you should have full control in it's development by others and have the (tools) to do that.
What you need is a good code maintainer, preferably an OCD nitpicker, who acts as a gatekeeper and only lets good code in.

With regards to the bug you are suspecting that it's in the source code, first, you can't make sure 100% about that.. second, how did you discover the big? in your project I think, so you
can just report it to Anywhere Software.. then Erel will track it down... (bugs and wish list forum).
I am tracking it down, I just want to rule out other possibilities first. It's the double value that is null, even though there isn't any double values anywhere near that code, which I have mentioned in another post. What makes me think it's not in my code is that I've seen it in two vastly different circumstances, none of them where that specific error should even be possible. I haven't been able to trim it down to a small sample program (and I don't Think Erel would apreciate a 5000 line sample program), though, as seemingly unrelated changes makes the error go away. But, I'm still on it.
 

Troberg

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We also have one other reason for wanting B4X open sourced. Say, god forbid, that something happens to Erel. He gets hit by a car and dies. If the code is not available, his achievement will die with him, as will our possibilities of taking over the torch.

I've actually considered some kind of "escrow-like" service where developers could post their code, just for situations like this. It would have some kind of dead man's switch, so if they don't tell the service "I'm still alive!" every six months or so, the code goes public under a user selected license. I know I'd love such a service for my creations, knowing that my "digital children" will live on and grow even if I'm not around.

Never got around to actually creating it, though, as I really don't like web development.
 

Beja

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If the code is not available, his achievement will die with him, as will our possibilities of taking over the torch.
Hi Troberg.
Firstly I see your point.. but..
I am now working on business software, and when I die then either my daughter will take over, or other engineers in my organization. but I don't release my technology just because one day I will die :)
Can one tell Bill Gates to release Windows source code so that when he dies Microsoft wouldn't die with him (oh! he already retired and no more managing Windows) . I think Anywhere Software is an institution and pretty sure the code even now is available, but not for everyone. Imagine if Dr. Pemberton released Coca Cola formula more than 120 years ago because he was going to die one day.. (btw: he died just 2 years later after his invention). I don't think it's my responsibility to carry on B4X or AutoCAD torch :)
best regards
 

Troberg

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Well, it depends. If it's a "one man show", well, then it's more of an issue. If it's a company, well, then the code belongs to the company, who will preserve it even if someone leaves.

That said, many companies are successfully building business models on open source. I have a friend who worked at MySQL, and he sure made some money when Sun bought them (and had a decent salary even before that).
 
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