Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

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Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer

Dear All

 

If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.

 

The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.

 

The current status is:

Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago

Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE

Cincom has raised the price for VSE licenses

Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.

Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour, and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours for trivial fixes

Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does

Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE

Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP

Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights

 

Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.

 

I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.

 

I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?

 

Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.

 

I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.

 

 

 


sPeople LogoHenrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
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/Henrik Hoyer
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Ralph Johnson

i think you are being too discrete.  :-) 

Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.


I don't understand this.  What kind of legal problems are people afraid of?  It can't be illegal to fix bugs, can it?

-Ralph Johnson 



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RE: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer

I don't understand this.  What kind of legal problems are people afraid of?  It can't be illegal to fix bugs, can it?

 

Two problems:

The layers of Cincom believe that fixing bugs is only possible if you are performing reverse engineering (this may be illegal in some part of the world)

The layers of Cincom believe that Cincom is the *only one* who has the rights to support the product.

 

 


sPeople LogoHenrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
www.sPeople.dk • (+45) 7023 7775





/Henrik Hoyer
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Ralph Johnson


2010/9/2 Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]>

I don't understand this.  What kind of legal problems are people afraid of?  It can't be illegal to fix bugs, can it?

 

Two problems:

The layers of Cincom believe that fixing bugs is only possible if you are performing reverse engineering (this may be illegal in some part of the world)

The layers of Cincom believe that Cincom is the *only one* who has the rights to support the product.


Smalltalk V was different from VisualWorks and Squeak in that large parts of the system, including the compiler, did not have source code.  VisualAge was like that, too.  Thus, they could probably claim that they intended to keep those secret and you are not allowed to look at them.  On the other hand, the main class libraries come with source that everybody browses and changes, so I cant believe that they can forbid you from changing them.

On the other hand, they can't be making much money from VSE.  Given the threat of bad feelings from the Smalltalk community, they will probably negotiate.  It makes sense for you to organize and try to negotiate as a group.

-Ralph


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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

jarober
In reply to this post by Henrik Hoyer
Cincom does not actually own the IP for VSE - when Cincom acquired VisualWorks from ObjectShare (back in 1999), the limited rights to VSE we do have were inherited from ObjectShare. ObjectShare had sold the IP for VSE to Seagull, which later was acquired by Rocket Software.  I have no idea whether that company does anything with that IP, or what level of concern they have with it.

Cincom has no ability to open source VSE; we cannot open source IP which we don't own.  You would have to pursue that with the people who own it.

As to stopping work, recall that VSE was EOL'd by ParcPlace-Digitalk in 1997.  It's been in that state ever since.  If you look at the Smalltalk products Cincom owns - ObjectShare and VisualWorks - I think you would have to say that we've aggressively supported them and moved them both forward.  We are committed to Smalltalk, but there is very little we can do about IP we don't own.


On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:

Dear All
 
If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.
 
The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.
 
The current status is:
Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago
Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE
Cincom has raised the price for VSE licenses
Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.
Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour, and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours for trivial fixes
Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does
Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE
Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP
Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights
 
Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.
 
I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.
 
I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?
 
Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.
 
I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.
 
 
 

<speoplelogo3d6c.png>Henrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
www.sPeople.dk • (+45) 7023 7775







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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

johnmci
Well I'll maybe someone oh say the Squeak Foundation needs to write a nice letter to "Rocket Software"  which seems to still exist
and suggest they might donate the IP rights for VSE  to a Foundation that is committed to Smalltalk in the world community.  

Obviously not much is going to happen with VSE IP unless someone asks, so it can't hurt to ask and beside maybe you'll get a positive answer, 
and certainly the current affair isn't helping anyone. 

Since I don't have a vested interest in this I"d suggest the people who want it to happen should start talking to  SF board...


On 2010-09-02, at 6:29 PM, James Robertson wrote:

Rocket Software

--
===========================================================================
John M. McIntosh <[hidden email]>   Twitter:  squeaker68882
Corporate Smalltalk Consulting Ltd.  http://www.smalltalkconsulting.com
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Yanni Chiu
In reply to this post by jarober
The original poster already stated that Cincom does not own the IP, so
your entire reply is irrelevant.

Can you post a definitive answer to the other points (excluding the
Seagull point). Namely:

 > On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
 >> Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does
 >> Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE
 >> Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP
 >> Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights

If Cincom is not an impediment (i.e. Cincom's exclusive rights to
sell/support VSE does not encumber the sale/donation of the VSE IP),
then, as suggested by others, the community can approach the IP owner.

I haven't used VSE in over a decade, and am surprised at its staying
power. I would hate to see it disappear.


James Robertson wrote:

> Cincom does not actually own the IP for VSE - when Cincom acquired
> VisualWorks from ObjectShare (back in 1999), the limited rights to VSE
> we do have were inherited from ObjectShare. ObjectShare had sold the IP
> for VSE to Seagull, which later was acquired by Rocket Software.  I have
> no idea whether that company does anything with that IP, or what level
> of concern they have with it.
>
> Cincom has no ability to open source VSE; we cannot open source IP which
> we don't own.  You would have to pursue that with the people who own it.
>
> As to stopping work, recall that VSE was EOL'd by ParcPlace-Digitalk in
> 1997.  It's been in that state ever since.  If you look at the Smalltalk
> products Cincom owns - ObjectShare and VisualWorks - I think you would
> have to say that we've aggressively supported them and moved them both
> forward.  We are committed to Smalltalk, but there is very little we can
> do about IP we don't own.
>
>
> On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
>
>> Dear All
>>  
>> If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk
>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this
>> really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native
>> Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original
>> Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active
>> development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk
>> happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then
>> ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.
>>  
>> The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not
>> optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to
>> clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete.
>> When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for
>> open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are
>> not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.
>>  
>> The current status is:
>> Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago
>> Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE
>> Cincom has raised the price for VSE licenses
>> Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case matter. Bugs fixed for one
>> customer is not made available to other customers.
>> Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour,
>> and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours
>> for trivial fixes
>> Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does
>> Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE
>> Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP
>> Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights
>>  
>> Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use
>> the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse,
>> every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop
>> its lawyer muscle on us.
>>  
>> I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up
>> in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.
>>  
>> I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really
>> see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a
>> threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting
>> VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does
>> Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other
>> products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning
>> them again in the future?
>>  
>> Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that
>> others will raise these questions.
>>  
>> I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from
>> the death of VSE.
>>  
>>  
>>  
>>
>> <speoplelogo3d6c.png> <http://www.sPeople.dk/> Henrik Høyer
>> Chief Software Architect
>> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> • (+45) 4029 2092
>> Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
>> www.sPeople.dk <http://www.sPeople.dk/> • (+45) 7023 7775
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>


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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

jarober
How so?  I'm simply trying to make expectations plain - since we don't own the IP, we cannot do much with VSE.  Since it's been moribund since 1997, I think it's unlikely that bringing it forward would be easy in any event.

There are many current Smalltalk systems - both open source: Pharo, Squeak, GNU - and commercial - Cincom, VA, Gemstone.   There's also Lesser Smalltalk.

The point is, you would be better off, I think, focusing on a product that has been steadily improved all of these years.


On Sep 2, 2010, at 11:19 PM, Yanni Chiu wrote:

> The original poster already stated that Cincom does not own the IP, so your entire reply is irrelevant.
>
> Can you post a definitive answer to the other points (excluding the Seagull point). Namely:
>
> > On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
> >> Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does
> >> Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE
> >> Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP
> >> Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights
>
> If Cincom is not an impediment (i.e. Cincom's exclusive rights to sell/support VSE does not encumber the sale/donation of the VSE IP), then, as suggested by others, the community can approach the IP owner.
>
> I haven't used VSE in over a decade, and am surprised at its staying power. I would hate to see it disappear.
>
>
> James Robertson wrote:
>> Cincom does not actually own the IP for VSE - when Cincom acquired VisualWorks from ObjectShare (back in 1999), the limited rights to VSE we do have were inherited from ObjectShare. ObjectShare had sold the IP for VSE to Seagull, which later was acquired by Rocket Software.  I have no idea whether that company does anything with that IP, or what level of concern they have with it.
>> Cincom has no ability to open source VSE; we cannot open source IP which we don't own.  You would have to pursue that with the people who own it.
>> As to stopping work, recall that VSE was EOL'd by ParcPlace-Digitalk in 1997.  It's been in that state ever since.  If you look at the Smalltalk products Cincom owns - ObjectShare and VisualWorks - I think you would have to say that we've aggressively supported them and moved them both forward.  We are committed to Smalltalk, but there is very little we can do about IP we don't own.
>> On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
>>> Dear All
>>> If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.
>>> The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.
>>> The current status is:
>>> Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago
>>> Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE
>>> Cincom has raised the price for VSE licenses
>>> Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.
>>> Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour, and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours for trivial fixes
>>> Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does
>>> Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE
>>> Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP
>>> Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights
>>> Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.
>>> I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.
>>> I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?
>>> Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.
>>> I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.
>>>  
>>> <speoplelogo3d6c.png> <http://www.sPeople.dk/> Henrik Høyer
>>> Chief Software Architect
>>> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> • (+45) 4029 2092
>>> Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
>>> www.sPeople.dk <http://www.sPeople.dk/> • (+45) 7023 7775
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>


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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

James Foster-5
In reply to this post by Yanni Chiu
On Sep 2, 2010, at 8:19 PM, Yanni Chiu wrote:

> Can you post a definitive answer to the other points (excluding the Seagull point). Namely:
> >> Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE
> >> Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights

Having no knowledge of the situation (and being employed by another vendor), my guess is that corporate lawyers rarely have time to review requests to give away company assets. The Smalltalk team might be happy to hand it over, but if they have to make a business case to others, then the challenge could be significant. On a project I worked on years ago, everyone up to the CIO agreed in principle to donate some unused software, but we never got the lawyers to put it in writing.

James
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Casey Ransberger-2
In reply to this post by Henrik Hoyer
Please forgive. I don't really know anything about this thread, and as such don't care too much about it. 

But I just couldn't help but point out what one can do for oneself when one types strings into google...


http://www.rocketsoftware.com/about/contact

Here's where you can find the property managers. Take John up on his idea about renovation:)

On Sep 2, 2010, at 4:53 AM, Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear All

 

If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.

 

The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.

 

The current status is:

Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago

Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE

Cincom has raised the price for VSE licenses

Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.

Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour, and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours for trivial fixes

Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does

Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE

Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP

Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights

 

Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.

 

I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.

 

I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?

 

Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.

 

I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.

 

 

 



Henrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email][hidden email][hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
www.sPeople.dk • (+45) 7023 7775







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RE: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer
In reply to this post by jarober

Hi James. Did you not read the whole posting, specifically:

 

Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does

Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE

Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP

Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights

 

It is not Seagull blocking anything, it is Cincom.

 

 


sPeople LogoHenrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
www.sPeople.dk • (+45) 7023 7775


From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of James Robertson
Sent: 3. september 2010 03:29
To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list
Subject: Re: [squeak-dev] Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

 

Cincom does not actually own the IP for VSE - when Cincom acquired VisualWorks from ObjectShare (back in 1999), the limited rights to VSE we do have were inherited from ObjectShare. ObjectShare had sold the IP for VSE to Seagull, which later was acquired by Rocket Software.  I have no idea whether that company does anything with that IP, or what level of concern they have with it.

Cincom has no ability to open source VSE; we cannot open source IP which we don't own.  You would have to pursue that with the people who own it.

As to stopping work, recall that VSE was EOL'd by ParcPlace-Digitalk in 1997.  It's been in that state ever since.  If you look at the Smalltalk products Cincom owns - ObjectShare and VisualWorks - I think you would have to say that we've aggressively supported them and moved them both forward.  We are committed to Smalltalk, but there is very little we can do about IP we don't own.

 

 

On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:



Dear All

 

If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.

 

The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.

 

The current status is:

Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago

Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE

Cincom has raised the price for VSE licenses

Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.

Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour, and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours for trivial fixes

Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does

Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE

Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP

Cincom has refused to sell/donate their rights

 

Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.

 

I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.

 

I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?

 

Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.

 

I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.

 

 

 

 

<speoplelogo3d6c.png>

Henrik Høyer

Chief Software Architect

[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092

Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S

www.sPeople.dk • (+45) 7023 7775




 




/Henrik Hoyer
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RE: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer
In reply to this post by johnmci

Hi John

 

The VSE Community has actually trying to do make this happen. Seagull has been approached and they are willing to sell/donate their IP. It is Cincom who is blocking this!

 

 


sPeople LogoHenrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
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From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of John M McIntosh
Sent: 3. september 2010 04:27
To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list
Subject: Re: [squeak-dev] Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

 

Well I'll maybe someone oh say the Squeak Foundation needs to write a nice letter to "Rocket Software"  which seems to still exist

and suggest they might donate the IP rights for VSE  to a Foundation that is committed to Smalltalk in the world community.  

 

Obviously not much is going to happen with VSE IP unless someone asks, so it can't hurt to ask and beside maybe you'll get a positive answer, 

and certainly the current affair isn't helping anyone. 

 

Since I don't have a vested interest in this I"d suggest the people who want it to happen should start talking to  SF board...

 

 

On 2010-09-02, at 6:29 PM, James Robertson wrote:



Rocket Software

 

--

===========================================================================

John M. McIntosh <[hidden email]>   Twitter:  squeaker68882

Corporate Smalltalk Consulting Ltd.  http://www.smalltalkconsulting.com

===========================================================================

 



 




/Henrik Hoyer
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer
In reply to this post by jarober
James wrote: "There are many current Smalltalk systems - both open source: Pharo, Squeak, GNU - and commercial - Cincom, VA, Gemstone.   There's also Lesser Smalltalk."

James, as you already know, Cincom is actively trying to stop Lesser Smalltalk from helping VSE users. Cincom lawyers states: "Cincom holds the exclusive exploitation rights", and are trying to use these rights to stop anybody from doing anything (for profit or for free).

As for why Cincom even thinks that Lesser Smalltalk is in violation of any rights, I don't understand. They have made a VM that are able to run VSE bytecode, and this is regarded as a violation of IP rights (which Cincom doesn't even possesses) - it doesn't make sence....

On Sep 2, 2010, at 11:19 PM, Yanni Chiu wrote:

> The original poster already stated that Cincom does not own the IP, so your entire reply is irrelevant.
>
> Can you post a definitive answer to the other points (excluding the Seagull point). Namely:
>
> > On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
> >> Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does Cincom
> >> has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE Seagull
> >> Software has no problem selling/donating the IP Cincom has refused
> >> to sell/donate their rights
>
> If Cincom is not an impediment (i.e. Cincom's exclusive rights to sell/support VSE does not encumber the sale/donation of the VSE IP), then, as suggested by others, the community can approach the IP owner.
>
> I haven't used VSE in over a decade, and am surprised at its staying power. I would hate to see it disappear.
>
>
> James Robertson wrote:
>> Cincom does not actually own the IP for VSE - when Cincom acquired VisualWorks from ObjectShare (back in 1999), the limited rights to VSE we do have were inherited from ObjectShare. ObjectShare had sold the IP for VSE to Seagull, which later was acquired by Rocket Software.  I have no idea whether that company does anything with that IP, or what level of concern they have with it.
>> Cincom has no ability to open source VSE; we cannot open source IP which we don't own.  You would have to pursue that with the people who own it.
>> As to stopping work, recall that VSE was EOL'd by ParcPlace-Digitalk in 1997.  It's been in that state ever since.  If you look at the Smalltalk products Cincom owns - ObjectShare and VisualWorks - I think you would have to say that we've aggressively supported them and moved them both forward.  We are committed to Smalltalk, but there is very little we can do about IP we don't own.
>> On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
>>> Dear All
>>> If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.
>>> The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.
>>> The current status is:
>>> Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago
>>> Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE Cincom has raised
>>> the price for VSE licenses Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case
>>> matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.
>>> Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour,
>>> and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours
>>> for trivial fixes Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull
>>> Software does Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting
>>> VSE Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP Cincom
>>> has refused to sell/donate their rights Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.
>>> I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.
>>> I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?
>>> Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.
>>> I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.
>>>
>>> <speoplelogo3d6c.png> <http://www.sPeople.dk/>      Henrik Høyer
>>> Chief Software Architect
>>> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> * (+45) 4029 2092 Rued Langgaards Vej
>>> 7 * 2300 Kbh. S www.sPeople.dk <http://www.sPeople.dk/> * (+45) 7023
>>> 7775
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> ---
>
>


--
Henrik Høyer, sPeople ApS
Chief Software Architect
(+45) 4029 2092

/Henrik Hoyer
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

garduino
I'm not a user of VSE nor Lesser nor VW, (And yes I purchased in the
past a license of Dolphin Smalltalk),
but my reflection on what we read in this thread and other related is
that this is *exactly* what we can expect
from products that depend on corporate closed companies. High prices,
hidden technology, ..... sorry closed software producers, I prefer
always open source (Squeak/Pharo/GNU).

Just an opinion (from a pov of a very very small company).

Cheers.
Germán.


2010/9/3 Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]>:

> James wrote: "There are many current Smalltalk systems - both open source: Pharo, Squeak, GNU - and commercial - Cincom, VA, Gemstone.   There's also Lesser Smalltalk."
>
> James, as you already know, Cincom is actively trying to stop Lesser Smalltalk from helping VSE users. Cincom lawyers states: "Cincom holds the exclusive exploitation rights", and are trying to use these rights to stop anybody from doing anything (for profit or for free).
>
> As for why Cincom even thinks that Lesser Smalltalk is in violation of any rights, I don't understand. They have made a VM that are able to run VSE bytecode, and this is regarded as a violation of IP rights (which Cincom doesn't even possesses) - it doesn't make sence....
>
> On Sep 2, 2010, at 11:19 PM, Yanni Chiu wrote:
>
>> The original poster already stated that Cincom does not own the IP, so your entire reply is irrelevant.
>>
>> Can you post a definitive answer to the other points (excluding the Seagull point). Namely:
>>
>> > On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
>> >> Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull Software does Cincom
>> >> has exclusive rights for selling and supporting VSE Seagull
>> >> Software has no problem selling/donating the IP Cincom has refused
>> >> to sell/donate their rights
>>
>> If Cincom is not an impediment (i.e. Cincom's exclusive rights to sell/support VSE does not encumber the sale/donation of the VSE IP), then, as suggested by others, the community can approach the IP owner.
>>
>> I haven't used VSE in over a decade, and am surprised at its staying power. I would hate to see it disappear.
>>
>>
>> James Robertson wrote:
>>> Cincom does not actually own the IP for VSE - when Cincom acquired VisualWorks from ObjectShare (back in 1999), the limited rights to VSE we do have were inherited from ObjectShare. ObjectShare had sold the IP for VSE to Seagull, which later was acquired by Rocket Software.  I have no idea whether that company does anything with that IP, or what level of concern they have with it.
>>> Cincom has no ability to open source VSE; we cannot open source IP which we don't own.  You would have to pursue that with the people who own it.
>>> As to stopping work, recall that VSE was EOL'd by ParcPlace-Digitalk in 1997.  It's been in that state ever since.  If you look at the Smalltalk products Cincom owns - ObjectShare and VisualWorks - I think you would have to say that we've aggressively supported them and moved them both forward.  We are committed to Smalltalk, but there is very little we can do about IP we don't own.
>>> On Sep 2, 2010, at 7:53 AM, Henrik Høyer wrote:
>>>> Dear All
>>>> If you have forgotten about Visual Smalltalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Smalltalk_Enterprise), it is this really cool Smalltalk dialect that enables users to build native Windows applications. Visual Smalltalk is one of the original Smalltalk dialects, and was made by Digitalk. In 1995 active development stopped when the merger between ParcPlace and Digitalk happened. VSE has since been in the hands of ParcPlace-Digitalk, then ObjectShare, and  since 1999 Cincom.
>>>> The state of affair of Visual Smalltalk Enterprise (VSE) is not optimal. The VSE community has make several attempts in the past to clear this up. These attempts has all been made quietly and discrete. When I left ESUG last year I was confident that there was a future for open-sourcing VSE. Unfortunately I have since learned that Cincom are not willing to change anything, and are regarding VSE as a cash cow.
>>>> The current status is:
>>>> Cincom stopped all work on the VSE platform more than a decade ago
>>>> Cincom continues to collect support fees for VSE Cincom has raised
>>>> the price for VSE licenses Cincom only fixes bug on a case-by-case
>>>> matter. Bugs fixed for one customer is not made available to other customers.
>>>> Cincom charges huge money for fixing bugs. They charge by the hour,
>>>> and since they don't have the knowledge one can expect 50-100 hours
>>>> for trivial fixes Cincom does not hold the IP for VSE - Seagull
>>>> Software does Cincom has exclusive rights for selling and supporting
>>>> VSE Seagull Software has no problem selling/donating the IP Cincom
>>>> has refused to sell/donate their rights Due to the above, VSE users are jumping through hoops to actually use the product on newer operating systems. To make the matters worse, every time anyone makes a bug fix, we all fear that Cincom will drop its lawyer muscle on us.
>>>> I believe that the time has come to stop being discrete and speak up in public. For VSE to have a future we need to act now.
>>>> I would love for Cincom to comment on these issues. Does Cincom really see the  free support and maintenance made by the community as a threat to their business? Are Cincom interested in actually supporting VSE, and not just collecting money from their trapped customers? Does Cincom really believe that VSE customers will migrate to other products supplied by them, taking only their word for not abandoning them again in the future?
>>>> Unfortunately I am not able to attend ESUG this year, but I hope that others will raise these questions.
>>>> I am pretty sure nobody in the Smalltalk community will benefit from the death of VSE.
>>>>
>>>> <speoplelogo3d6c.png> <http://www.sPeople.dk/>      Henrik Høyer
>>>> Chief Software Architect
>>>> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> * (+45) 4029 2092 Rued Langgaards Vej
>>>> 7 * 2300 Kbh. S www.sPeople.dk <http://www.sPeople.dk/> * (+45) 7023
>>>> 7775
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> ---
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> Henrik Høyer, sPeople ApS
> Chief Software Architect
> (+45) 4029 2092
>
>



--
=================================================
Germán S. Arduino  <gsa @ arsol.net>   Twitter: garduino
Arduino Software & Web Hosting   http://www.arduinosoftware.com
PasswordsPro  http://www.passwordspro.com
=================================================

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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Randal L. Schwartz
In reply to this post by Henrik Hoyer
>>>>> "Henrik" == Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]> writes:

Henrik> It is not Seagull blocking anything, it is Cincom.

Given that James Robertson of Cincom responded that this isn't the case,
you better have good evidence to avoid libel at this point.

What's your evidence that this is still Cincom's problem? Details please.

--
Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
<[hidden email]> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See http://methodsandmessages.vox.com/ for Smalltalk and Seaside discussion

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RE: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer
In reply to this post by Henrik Hoyer

Dear all

 

From the reactions to my post, I fear that people might have misunderstood me. Bear in mind, that I am not a native English speaker – though my language might sound harsh and offensive, I do have the best intensions.

 

The subject of the original post should perhaps have been: “Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprise *customers*”. Who shot VSE a long time ago is another discussion. As are the discussion of how/whether one could/should port the applications to other Smalltalk dialects.

 

My focus is entirely on how the current VSE users can extend the life of their applications on the VSE platform. Even though development on VSE stopped more than 10 years ago, the applications are still running today on current operating system versions and with on-par performance.

 

Part of VSE is closed source; The VM, the compiler and several other stuff. Though clever hacking/patching bugs in these closed parts of VSE have been fixes by the community since the official development stopped. But Cincom (who has the exclusive rights to make money from supporting the product) has now unleashed its lawyers, and are threatening some of the most active people in the community. The amount of “lawyer muscle” behind the threats are actually keeping people from even replying to this post.

 

I did have a deep respect for Cincom; they have done a great job for the Smalltalk community. I don’t know where in their organization the “money matters more than ethics” policy is in action. It is not among the Smalltalk people we all know, but the ones who are pulling the strings are in fact doing a lot of damage to their corporate image.

 

I know that some Cincom employees have commented on my post, but I still have had no answers to the main question:

 

Are Cincom willing to donate/sell their “exclusive exploratory rights to the VSE product”?

 

Please note: The question is not about the IP. It is only about the rights that Cincom holds, oh and by the way; are Cincom willing to disclose the contact they have with Seagull regarding these rights?

 

With all the best intensions

 


sPeople LogoHenrik Høyer
Chief Software Architect
[hidden email] • (+45) 4029 2092
Rued Langgaards Vej 7 • 2300 Kbh. S
www.sPeople.dk • (+45) 7023 7775





/Henrik Hoyer
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RE: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Randal L. Schwartz
>>>>> "Henrik" == Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]> writes:

Henrik> The subject of the original post should perhaps have been: "Is
Henrik> Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprise *customers*".

I would certainly hope not.  Murder is still illegal here for most people.

:-)

--
Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
<[hidden email]> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See http://methodsandmessages.vox.com/ for Smalltalk and Seaside discussion

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RE: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Henrik Hoyer
In reply to this post by Randal L. Schwartz
I sorry Randal, but I cannot disclose such details in public without violating several NDA. Please remember that Cincom is not only James Robertson (and the other Smalltalk advocates in the company).

To James: Was your post "Cincom official polity", or "your personal perception of the situation"?

--
Henrik Høyer, sPeople ApS
Chief Software Architect
(+45) 4029 2092
-----Original Message-----
From: Randal L. Schwartz [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: 3. september 2010 16:04
To: Henrik Høyer
Cc: The general-purpose Squeak developers list
Subject: Re: [squeak-dev] Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

>>>>> "Henrik" == Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]> writes:

Henrik> It is not Seagull blocking anything, it is Cincom.

Given that James Robertson of Cincom responded that this isn't the case, you better have good evidence to avoid libel at this point.

What's your evidence that this is still Cincom's problem? Details please.

--
Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095 <[hidden email]> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See http://methodsandmessages.vox.com/ for Smalltalk and Seaside discussion


/Henrik Hoyer
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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Randal L. Schwartz
>>>>> "Henrik" == Henrik Høyer <[hidden email]> writes:

Henrik> I sorry Randal, but I cannot disclose such details in public
Henrik> without violating several NDA. Please remember that Cincom is
Henrik> not only James Robertson (and the other Smalltalk advocates in
Henrik> the company).

Then your fight should not have come public either.

If you can't lay out all the facts, you can't have my support.  You just
sound like you're whining.  I'm not alone in this observation.

And I'll go further and say that your fight should NEVER HAVE COME TO
squeak-dev either.  This is not an issue regarding the development of
Squeak core or Squeak forks.

And wearing my official Squeak Board Member hat for a moment, I'm now
asking you to officially end this thread here.

Thank you.

--
Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
<[hidden email]> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
Smalltalk/Perl/Unix consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
See http://methodsandmessages.vox.com/ for Smalltalk and Seaside discussion

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Re: Is Cincom slowly killing Visual Smalltalk Enterprice

Andreas.Raab
On 9/7/2010 10:38 PM, Randal L. Schwartz wrote:
> And wearing my official Squeak Board Member hat for a moment, I'm now
> asking you to officially end this thread here.

Same here. May I remind people that this is the *Squeak* mailing list,
and not a VSE/Cincom mailing list? Unless this has anything to do with
Squeak (in which case I would appreciate a reminder how exactly any of
this relates) I would appreciate if the discussion could be taken to the
proper VSE/Cincom mailing list.

Cheers,
   - Andreas

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