Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: Will Dr. OpenACS survive? Or why I stopped worrying and learned to love the .LRN consortium?
Mark Aufflick -- you're welcome! ... see above :)
I've learned a lot from this thread, keep the brain dump going, this is fascinating.
Mark, regarding your comments on TCL's limitations, I've run into that phenomenon in various degrees in many fields. For example, acquaintances of mine that are also running Lotus Notes/Domino environment which is basically a client, app server and a proprietary scripting language have run into just that ... some rather severe limitations of the platform as they have essentially pushed Domino to do far more than it was ever designed to do. Alternatively the same thing tends to happen in all sorts of areas, apps start out in VB, outgrow it and migrate to C++, etc.... In our discussions sometimes they look back and wish that they had started it all in Java, but then again the initial barriers to entry are much higher, and so goes the circular discussion.
It's one of those things where you start using a tool because it's easy to get into, but over time the scope of your usecase outgrows your toolsets spec ( oh boy, hard to get rid of that dotcom cliche-itis! ), and i can't see any real way to mitigate this as this scope growth tends to happen over such a long period of time that any choice you make is speculative at best even if you have the right decision making and technical skills.
With that being said, would you care to elaborate more on the TCL limitations experienced? Is there any way to outline the issues to essentially a non programmer so that the explanation isn't too abstract? I think this would be something worthy of further exploration as I think this discussion has covered most of the big issues that I think are easily solved with as was mentioned 'merely tripling the OACS developer base' which currently would ammount to repackaging some of the entry points to OACS (easier install, etc.), a post on slashdot and engagement of the community to the active questions so seal the deal so to speak.
It sounds as if you are describing similar issues to what many of my colleagues are running into with Notes/Domino. To turn it around, I think it's fairly obvious what OACS excells at, based on the TCL limitation pionts ( small to medium sized applications ), what categories of development would OACS/TCL not be suitable for? Could OACS successfully develop and ERP set of solution ( project-open.com for example really has an amazing start in this direction already ) on the level of some of the stuff SAP is offering (although they offer so much that in a way they really offer nothing, their last install at hp cost hp 500 million in lost revenues, heh!) ... surely a lot is possible what I'm trying to gauge here is where exactly is the development ceiling here?