Re: A RobotC for NXT compiler in Ubuntu
There is plenty of commercial software for Linux. Making something available for Linux does not imply having to make it free or even Open Source. I've been working professionally with Linux for over 17 years now and I can assure you there is plenty of commercial stuff out there:
- Oracle everything
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux
- IBM Websphere
- MySQL Enterprise Edition
- VMWare Workstation
I could go on but I'm sure a quick Google search will confirm my statements.
The main issue is that Linux is used only by a very small fraction of users on the desktop. They're a very vocal bunch, sure, but developing or porting a product is a lot of work and maintaining multiple versions of it for multiple platforms even more so. There's a good reason ROBOTC 3.x moved to a single package, instead of one for each robotics platform: efficiency.
Even Red Hat, a major commercial enterprise-grade Linux company has given up trying to push Linux to the enterprise desktop, it's not worth it. Windows is, for now, the main Desktop OS, after that it's Apple's OSX and the small pickings that are left is a wide range of Linux distributions.
That brings me to another issue with making commercial software available for Linux, the extreme fragmentation of all of the distributions and various versions thereof. If we take the main distributions that are big used at the moment, Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu and Mint, we have 4 distributions, some of which have multiple supported concurrent versions. So, in all, you're probably talking about 10-12 different packages that you need to create, test and maintain, one for each. Every time there is a minor or major update, you need to revalidate your packages for that specific distribution and perhaps re-engineer some of it. I really don't think you understand and appreciate the amount of work that goes into maintaining software.
I know that making ROBOTC open source and having the communities of each distribution would at least partially solve this issue, but Robotics Academy and Robomatter have made significant investments in developing this product and their business model consists of selling licenses and giving courses to educators and much more.
There is no lack of open source NXT programming software out there, some of it even works under Linux, just not ROBOTC.
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