I know it’s dangerous to draw conclusions from analogies, but what are we supposed to learn from, if not from the past?
This was before my time, but from what I gather, the programming language and development environment Smalltalk failed because the competitor Java came along which borrowed a few concepts from Smalltak but additionally had…
- a C-like syntax that was familiar to almost all programmers
- applets to run the code in the browser,
- free (initially as in beer) development tools provided by Sun, and
- is statically typed.
- a C-like (and by extension Java-like) syntax that is still very familiar to almost all programmers (and those that don’t like that can still use CoffeeScript),
- native support in the browser,
- free (as in freedom and as in beer) tools and libraries.
Zorba is also distributed under the permissive Apache license, but it is not even a complete Application Server. Opa is available under the GNU Affero General Public License which requires any provider making use of it to open source his code as well. On the other hand, Node.js, Meteor, Derby and SocketStream are all available under the permissive MIT license which make them even more free (in the sense that you don’t have to contribute back to the community if you don’t want to).