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Re: Logo

On Sat, 14 Aug 1999, Ian Bicking wrote:

> Scott Raney <raney@metacard.com> wrote:
> > True, but I don't see the point.  We're not talking about selling
> > MetaCard to these schools, but a separate product based on MetaCard (a
> > MetaCard *application*).  This could be given away free (no
> > royalties).  To turn your argument on its head, this is way less money
> > than those schools are paying for HyperStudio or probably even Logo
> > now (most versions of it are commercial, and as I understand it, the
> > installed base of the commercial versions vastly outnumber that of the
> > free versions).
> Could you clarify what you're thinking about in terms of licenses 
> and pricing?

This would be up to whoever developed it.  I would think that it would
work best as a nominal-charge kind of thing, or given away free with a
charge for tech support or something.  Other than maybe doing some
work to get the project started and maybe a little marketing for it,
MetaCard Corporation wouldn't be involved in the design, licensing, or
distribution of the package (though I personally would probably
kibbitz from time to time on decisions related to these issues).  I
don't think we'd even really care whether it was a commercial or an
open source project, so long as the people who take it on are
committed to finishing what they start.

> To me, it seems that a HyperStudio-like interface would change the 
> outside interface of MetaCard, but would still use and expose most 
> of the application-creating functionality.  So I assume, having 
> created this, you couldn't just distribute it.  While it would be a 
> limited version of MetaCard, it would still be the MetaCard 
> product...?  Or are you saying, so long as there's significant value-
> added and the original MetaCard editting interface is replaced that 
> you'd consider it an application, free to be distributed by the author?

The latter.  It would be considered an application, and so there would
be no restrictions whatsoever on distribution of it.  There isn't even
a "made with MetaCard" copyright notice requirement, though of course
we'd like to see it given credit somewhere if possible.

> Or, is it to say that you could create the application, but that users 
> could only use it under the terms of the Starter Pack, i.e., with a 
> limit on the length of scripts, etc., before they have to pay for a full 
> version?

It would be limited by the MetaCard Starter Kit limits, yes.  As I
said before, the package I was envisioning would basically be
HyperStudio with no HyperLogo (or more precisely, only very limited
scripting).  But scripting certainly wouldn't be required to do
anything most people do with HyperStudio because navigation in that
package is all based on data structures, not custom scripting.

> I'm not entirely sure what you are thinking about here.

The only unexplored issue here is getting the original development
team going.  They would get started by just getting MetaCard K12
licenses which would require that they be currently affiliated with a
school, or by getting a standard license via a grant from MetaCard
Corporation (which is usually pretty liberal about this kind of
thing).  Once the first release is made, some aspects of the program
could be changed by people using the free Starter Kit version of
MetaCard (notably doing language translations of the prompts or doing
minor customization of the UI like change the size, color, or
positioning of the UI elements).  Anyone with a K12 or regular
MetaCard license would be able to change any aspect of the program,
assuming the original developers choose to allow this (which I would
assume they would, at least if were an open source project).  I'm sure
there are people in the MetaCard community who would be willing and
able to make minor contributions to development, although as far as I
know, there isn't anyone with the necessary HyperStudio and K12
experience + motivation and free time to take on a project like this

Anyone interested in the project and who would need a license grant
should just submit a proposal to me.  We're not talking about your
typical 50 page grant proposal, but just a page or two listing the key
features of the proposed package and some background on the people
who'd be organizing and doing the work (development experience,
HyperStudio experience, K12 teaching experience, etc.).

> --
> Ian Bicking <bickiia@earlham.edu>

Scott Raney  raney@metacard.com  http://www.metacard.com
MetaCard: You know, there's an easier way to do that...