Kevin Mille, CEO of LiveCode, recently announced that he will choose a closed source approach to LiveCode development in the future.
“99% of LiveCode’s work is done by our internal team. But a large part of the community is using the open source version for free, and our current maintenance costs are unbalanced against the rewards. It’s a huge task and one we don’t have the resources to take on. Therefore, we have decided to stop supporting the open source version of LiveCode at this time.” Mille said.
Developers can continue to use the existing open source version and the code will still be visible on github. However, LiveCode Ltd will not be maintaining or updating it.
With its graphical interface and near-natural language scripting features, LiveCode allows you to quickly develop applications that run on all major platforms such as Windows, Linux, MacOSX, android, iOS and more.
LiveCode was formerly known as Revolution, the Scottish company Runtime Revolution developed the programming language Revolution in 2001, acquired MetaCard in 2003 and built Revolution’s development environment on MetaCard’s engine. Revolution was renamed LiveCode in the autumn of 2010 and went open source in April 2013.
In 2013, RunRev launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding project to fund LiveCode open source. “Our vision is that the next generation of LiveCode will be free and open source. It will run on every popular platform and device, and allow you to write programs in English. By being open source and open, its English language programming can be extended to any computational programming problem, and this is the first project in the world that can accomplish this.” So read the tagline at the time.
In the end, the Kickstarter raised almost £500,000, exceeding the initial target of £350,000.
The company has had a considerable impact on computer science education in Scotland. Data shows that nearly a quarter of Scottish secondary schools used LiveCode for teaching in 2013.
In an interview with the foreign press, Mille said that LiveCode is very much focused on ease of use, which supports the possibility of developers writing applications in a language close to English without having to concern themselves with memory management details and things related to low-level languages. “However, LiveCode is written in C/C++, so many of our users are trying to avoid that low-level language.” Mille says. As for the funding on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, Mille says it was substantial, but not enough to sustain the project.
“Eight years on, you can’t say we haven’t tried our best. If people want to use it, that code is still there.” Mille said.
The latest version of LiveCode, 9.6.4, is now available for distribution and download. Developers can download it from their LiveCode account or from the downloadable trial version. This version supports licence changes.
LiveCode is also planning to release version 9.6.5 within a week, which will support Android app packages and APIs.30 In addition, LiveCode version 10 is about to enter the beta cycle with substantial changes and improvements to the web, media and camera, integrated mobile widgets, and some handy new language features.