[Blog] Pricing Rationale

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[Blog] Pricing Rationale

Sean Stephens-2
Lassoers

Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.

http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness

I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.

Sean Stephens
CEO
LassoSoft Inc.


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Marc Vos
Sean,

I took the 25 minutes and found the answer to my email from today. I'll patiently wait for the desk-/laptop solution for CLDs. Good to read that the licensing setup is still being revaluated. And now that you mention it, yes, I noticed a faster response from L8.6, and I said to myself, hey, great! that's cool and just took it for granted.

- -
Marc

Sent from my iPhone

On 23 mrt. 2011, at 00:03, Sean Stephens <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Lassoers
>
> Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.
>
> http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>
> I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.
>
> Sean Stephens
> CEO
> LassoSoft Inc.
>
>
> #############################################################
> This message is sent to you because you are subscribed to
>  the mailing list <[hidden email]>.
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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Alex Pilson-2
In reply to this post by Sean Stephens-2
Sean,

I also took the 25 minutes to read your words and was very well  
thought out, although a bit to the point and harsh in some places, but  
very real. I do have some comments that I will email you privately  
that I do think you have may have overlooked some rationale on. That  
being said, it was very positive, real world, emotional and even  
before reading this, I committed to CLD knowing this was pretty much  
going to be gist of what you were going to write :)

Alex Pilson, CLD

On Mar 22, 2011, at 7:03 PM, Sean Stephens wrote:

> Lassoers
>
> Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.
>
> http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>
> I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.
>
> Sean Stephens
> CEO
> LassoSoft Inc.


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

decorior
"Lasso 9 is a failure because it has missed the point about the asset value of Lasso programmer knowledge. Because Sean Stephens has discomfort about using Lasso 9 because he is so comfortable with Lasso 8. Because the perception is that one cannot apply one's Lasso 8 skill to be used in Lasso 9. Because my one talent is death to hide, yet lodged with me useless. Because every time I look at Lasso 9 code on the Lasso list posted by senior developers, I panic, and I feel I could just as easily go learn Java. My talent, it would appear, has been rendered useless by this newfangled code."

Well said. The learning curve for Lasso 9 looks harder than the curve for PHP at this time. More importantly, as you pointed out it takes a decade of development that allows you to quickly implement solutions...many of us don't have that time to a new language that may not survive.

Deco
On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:17 PM, alex pilson wrote:

> Sean,
>
> I also took the 25 minutes to read your words and was very well thought out, although a bit to the point and harsh in some places, but very real. I do have some comments that I will email you privately that I do think you have may have overlooked some rationale on. That being said, it was very positive, real world, emotional and even before reading this, I committed to CLD knowing this was pretty much going to be gist of what you were going to write :)
>
> Alex Pilson, CLD
>
> On Mar 22, 2011, at 7:03 PM, Sean Stephens wrote:
>
>> Lassoers
>>
>> Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.
>>
>> http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>>
>> I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.
>>
>> Sean Stephens
>> CEO
>> LassoSoft Inc.
>
>
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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Jonathan Guthrie-5
I'd also argue that in order to use 9, you can use 99% of your Lasso 8 skillset.
One does not have to use stuff like capture blocks and so on, and I am constantly pleased by how much of our Lasso 8.5 code runs unmodified under 9 :)

On 2011-03-22, at 9:15 PM, Deco Rior wrote:

> Well said. The learning curve for Lasso 9 looks harder than the curve for PHP at this time. More importantly, as you pointed out it takes a decade of development that allows you to quickly implement solutions...many of us don't have that time to a new language that may not survive.

Jono
Treefrog Interactive Inc.

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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Eric Landmann
In reply to this post by Sean Stephens-2
On 3/22/11 at 6:03 PM, [hidden email] (Sean Stephens) wrote:

>Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read. http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.

This quote...

     "Once backwards compatibility has been achieved, there is
very little
     reason to not move sites to Lasso 9 from Lasso 8. Lasso 9
will run
     the code, so help me God."

... is very encouraging. L9 has to be compatible. My clients
won't pay for rewrites, unless I can add some compelling new
features along with the mix.

--Eric


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Marc Pope-2
In reply to this post by Sean Stephens-2
Maybe I read fast, it only took 15!

But regardless, I agree with most everything said. Of course, I am one of those to blame ;)

On Mar 22, 2011, at 7:03 PM, Sean Stephens <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Lassoers
>
> Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.
>
> http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>
> I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.
>
> Sean Stephens
> CEO
> LassoSoft Inc.
>
>
> #############################################################
> This message is sent to you because you are subscribed to
>  the mailing list <[hidden email]>.
> To unsubscribe, E-mail to: <[hidden email]>
> To switch to the DIGEST mode, E-mail to <[hidden email]>
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>

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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

fletcher sandbeck-2
In reply to this post by Jonathan Guthrie-5
On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jonathan Guthrie wrote:

> I'd also argue that in order to use 9, you can use 99% of your Lasso 8 skillset.
> One does not have to use stuff like capture blocks and so on, and I am constantly pleased by how much of our Lasso 8.5 code runs unmodified under 9 :)

The whole point of introducing some concepts like capture blocks was so that normal Lasso containers would work without any modifications.  Lasso 9 definitely has complexities compared to other languages in part because it provides built-in support for so much Lasso 8 syntax.

I still run into the odd [List_GetItem] tag in old code.  Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.

[fletcher]


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

gzasuwa
Being able to gradually modify a large and complex system based on 8.5 to adapt to the advantages of 9 is what is needed.  No one has the time or resources to re-invent their online solutions to instantly adapt to 'improvements'.

Sincerely,

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On Mar 22, 2011, at 10:00 PM, Fletcher Sandbeck wrote:

> On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jonathan Guthrie wrote:
>
>> I'd also argue that in order to use 9, you can use 99% of your Lasso 8 skillset.
>> One does not have to use stuff like capture blocks and so on, and I am constantly pleased by how much of our Lasso 8.5 code runs unmodified under 9 :)
>
> The whole point of introducing some concepts like capture blocks was so that normal Lasso containers would work without any modifications.  Lasso 9 definitely has complexities compared to other languages in part because it provides built-in support for so much Lasso 8 syntax.
>
> I still run into the odd [List_GetItem] tag in old code.  Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.
>
> [fletcher]
>
>
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>


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Jonathan Guthrie-3
In reply to this post by fletcher sandbeck-2
I 100% agree Fletcher.
When we started the almost ground up rewrite of LEAP mid-2009, I wanted to write it so that it would run under both 8.5 and 9.

After a few months I remember having a discussion with Sean over a beer at the Grey Goat (RIP) where we discussed the crossroads I was at with building for both. The benefits of going "straight" 9 outweighed the benefits of building for both, and while there's been some huge speedbumps in the development path going down the "straight" 9 road, it's been well worth it.

While I understand not every developer has a boss, or a client, that would fund a massive undertaking such as LEAP 5 was, it has revealed some interesting things, such as:

- If I wanted to write it "just so it worked", I could write it pretty much the same as I would in 8.5
- if I wanted to write it to be fast, I would have to do my research and experimentation.
        Guess what? If I was writing for the same way in 8 I'd be doing the same thing, research and experimentation.
- The path of least resistance is not a bad path to take
        LEAP 5 is still filled with code that is not "perfect case" Lasso 9.
        Why? because the cost/benefit speed and time-wise is not always there do do things idealistically.
        There is hardly any penalty to using action_param vs the lower level methods for example. Therefore, use action_param.
- The groovey things like capture blocks & autocollect rock. That does not mean I always use them. I should also note Kyle uses if(...) ... /if a lot too. It's perfectly valid, so why not?

I can think of a dozen more things to share but I should go write some more code.

My point is really, that when you're looking at 9, don't be daunted, and don't think it's retraining - it's just extending what you know, and it can actually be fun and rewarding :)



On 2011-03-22, at 10:00 PM, Fletcher Sandbeck wrote:

> The whole point of introducing some concepts like capture blocks was so that normal Lasso containers would work without any modifications.  Lasso 9 definitely has complexities compared to other languages in part because it provides built-in support for so much Lasso 8 syntax.
>
> I still run into the odd [List_GetItem] tag in old code.  Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.
>
> [fletcher]

Jono

----------------------------
Jonathan Guthrie
[hidden email]
LassoSoft Inc.


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Erik Vandermey - WebCentrix, Inc.
In reply to this post by fletcher sandbeck-2
On Mar 22, 2011, at 9:00 PM, Fletcher Sandbeck wrote:

> On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jonathan Guthrie wrote:
>
>> I'd also argue that in order to use 9, you can use 99% of your Lasso 8 skillset.
>> One does not have to use stuff like capture blocks and so on, and I am constantly pleased by how much of our Lasso 8.5 code runs unmodified under 9 :)
>
> The whole point of introducing some concepts like capture blocks was so that normal Lasso containers would work without any modifications. Lasso 9 definitely has complexities compared to other languages in part because it provides built-in support for so much Lasso 8 syntax.
>
> I still run into the odd [List_GetItem] tag in old code.  Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.
>
> [fletcher]

I have code that I dragged forward from Lasso 2.5 that still uses the [repetition] tag. Although deprecated, I found it greatly helpful to have the replacement code right in the Lasso Reference:

From the reference:

All instances of this tag should be changed to use the modulo symbol % instead. For example the code [If: Repetition == 2] can be rewritten as [If: (Loop_Count % 2) == 0] to achieve the same effect.

The code using the modulo symbol is significantly faster than the equivalent code using [Repetition].

It's tips like this that allow me to use BBEdit's multi-file search to find and replace old tags. I haven't looked at the docs for Lasso 9 yet, but I hope to find many examples in there of how to code the "Lasso 9" way.

Regards,
---
Erik Van-der-Mey • [hidden email] • (AIM/iChat: [hidden email]) • http://webcentrix.net
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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

jasonhuck
In reply to this post by fletcher sandbeck-2
> Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.


For us, it's all about maintaining forward momentum. We have a code
base that's got to stay "in play" and continue to evolve while we're
meeting the needs of our clients. And, we don't have a lot of extra
bandwidth to work on "the next big thing" as a non-billable, internal
side project at the same time.

Sean splits the investment in Lasso into two pieces: developer skill
and existing code. As I see it, developer skill is transferable to
another language, but existing code is not. That's why a high level of
backwards compatibility is so critical. Take away the momentum of the
existing codebase and you've taken away the investment.

If we're able to run our existing solutions in 9 with a minimum amount
of changes -- at least approaching the level of past upgrades -- then
I'm sure we'll eventually rewrite them, piece by piece, to take
advantage of all the new hotness, but we'll also be able to actually
*use them* as they evolve without sacrificing any existing
functionality.

If not, as is currently the case, then the playing field is leveled,
and Lasso isn't all that competitive on several fronts.

Anyway, nice, honest, real post, Sean. Appreciate the candor. Like
where your head is. Hope it all works out.

- jason

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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Marc Vos
In reply to this post by fletcher sandbeck-2

On 23 mrt 2011, at 03:00, Fletcher Sandbeck wrote:

> On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jonathan Guthrie wrote:
>
>> I'd also argue that in order to use 9, you can use 99% of your Lasso 8 skillset.
>> One does not have to use stuff like capture blocks and so on, and I am constantly pleased by how much of our Lasso 8.5 code runs unmodified under 9 :)
>
> The whole point of introducing some concepts like capture blocks was so that normal Lasso containers would work without any modifications.  Lasso 9 definitely has complexities compared to other languages in part because it provides built-in support for so much Lasso 8 syntax.
>
> I still run into the odd [List_GetItem] tag in old code.  Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.

I definitely do NOT agree. There is absolutely no need to always and always having to update and review older code. I expect backwards compatibility up to at least 10 years for languages I work with. And the odd application that doesn't get updated automatically during this time because there has been no need to touch it, is/are the ones that need extra investment on my part. I can imagine making certain constructs in a language obsolete, but not all at once and if so, this should be very, very well documented to be able to update old code easily. With all Lasso updates I have experienced (starting at L7), this has never been the case IMO. I have, and maybe that is my own fault because I didn't look at the right place, never seen/read/received/been pointed to a document clearly listing all language changes when a new update was released. Furthermore, the more users you have of a product, the more responsible you have to behave towards the past. You cannot see Lasso as something you do as hobby and make changes here and there because you find it ok and not thinking about all your clients who do not want/are not able to upgrade at any price at any given time. So you have to have this old code lingering around and take responsibility for it. If you want to get rid of it, fine: describe in a document what exactly is going to happen and what we developers are expected to change in our code and set a big enough timeframe, depending on how much is being changed, for the transition to take place.

- -
Marc


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Black Night Lists
In reply to this post by Sean Stephens-2

On 22 Mar 2011, at 23:03, Sean Stephens wrote:

> Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.
>
> http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>
> I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.

Interesting read, and like others have stated there is a lot of positive and encouraging statements in there. Personally I'm looking forward to the future of Lasso and have committed myself to it by paying to be a CLD and signing up the to LHP.

I have emailed you off list because the "Absolutely zero cost" comment is simply not true, at least in our case.


Regards

Stephen Thirlwell
Black Night Software
LassoSoft Hosting Partner • Certified Lasso Developer
http://www.blacknight.co.uk








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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Neil Enock
In reply to this post by Marc Vos
+1

Will everybody who enjoys wading through tens of thousands of lines of code to find yet another change required by yet another version of Lasso, please raise their hand?

i will probably go to Lasso 9 if it offers 100% backwards compatibility.

I have been with Lasso pretty much from the start and have had to wade through tens of thousands of lines of code 3 or maybe 4 times to enable version 'improvements'.  Then there have been style change with Lassoscript and available different formatting methods, compounding the learning curve even more.

Regardless of how much I love Lasso, and I do, it would have been easier to learn PHP in the first place.  While it is more complicated, I don't think the rewrites would have been required as much, if at all. (I don't know for sure).

Anyway for me, once backward compatibility exists, I will then look at pricing, till them it's moot for me.

Neil

P.S. Great Post Sean!
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On Mar 23, 2011, at 3:28 AM, Marc Vos wrote:

>
> On 23 mrt 2011, at 03:00, Fletcher Sandbeck wrote:
>
>> On Mar 22, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jonathan Guthrie wrote:
>>
>>> I'd also argue that in order to use 9, you can use 99% of your Lasso 8 skillset.
>>> One does not have to use stuff like capture blocks and so on, and I am constantly pleased by how much of our Lasso 8.5 code runs unmodified under 9 :)
>>
>> The whole point of introducing some concepts like capture blocks was so that normal Lasso containers would work without any modifications.  Lasso 9 definitely has complexities compared to other languages in part because it provides built-in support for so much Lasso 8 syntax.
>>
>> I still run into the odd [List_GetItem] tag in old code.  Backward compatibility can be a blessing since it allows old code to move forward, but also a curse since old code can linger for years rather than being updated to use faster techniques.
>
> I definitely do NOT agree. There is absolutely no need to always and always having to update and review older code. I expect backwards compatibility up to at least 10 years for languages I work with. And the odd application that doesn't get updated automatically during this time because there has been no need to touch it, is/are the ones that need extra investment on my part. I can imagine making certain constructs in a language obsolete, but not all at once and if so, this should be very, very well documented to be able to update old code easily. With all Lasso updates I have experienced (starting at L7), this has never been the case IMO. I have, and maybe that is my own fault because I didn't look at the right place, never seen/read/received/been pointed to a document clearly listing all language changes when a new update was released. Furthermore, the more users you have of a product, the more responsible you have to behave towards the past. You cannot see Lasso as something you do as hobby and make changes here and there because you find it ok and not thinking about all your clients who do not want/are not able to upgrade at any price at any given time. So you have to have this old code lingering around and take responsibility for it. If you want to get rid of it, fine: describe in a document what exactly is going to happen and what we developers are expected to change in our code and set a big enough timeframe, depending on how much is being changed, for the transition to take place.
>
> - -
> Marc
>
>
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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Brad Lindsay-2
In reply to this post by Sean Stephens-2
"The hosting companies who have not seen how simple and perfect this new model is for them are completely missing the point. This is not the death knell for them. It's a way of making their lives simple and better, now and in the future, at every level of the existence of Lasso. With a heck of a lot less risk than some of us others have absorbed."

"LassoSoft is not selling copies of Lasso to hosting companies. We are selling it to their clients. This model doesn't just make sense for them, it's brilliant. It's future-sensitive. It's easy to make work."


Exactly my point with my email that showed that the additional monthly cost to your customers — If you had 400 customers and you passed on the entire cost of the Lasso instance license (including your hosting membership fee), it's just $3.63 a month for them. Charge them $5 a month for it. They can then also get updates to Lasso whenever *they* want it. Win-Win-Win.

Brad
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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Marc Pope-2
On Mar 23, 2011, at 9:32 AM, Brad Lindsay wrote:
>
> Exactly my point with my email that showed that the additional monthly cost to your customers — If you had 400 customers and you passed on the entire cost of the Lasso instance license (including your hosting membership fee), it's just $3.63 a month for them. Charge them $5 a month for it. They can then also get updates to Lasso whenever *they* want it. Win-Win-Win.

I've been hosting Lasso for 10 years, i'd be surprised if there is that kind of numbers for 1 provider out there. Maybe I am wrong and maybe I have 2% of the market.

-marc


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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Lars A. Gundersen-2
In reply to this post by Sean Stephens-2
Thanks, Sean, nice blog post overall.

And here's to 1000 - one thousand - messages to the lists (LassoTalk/L9 betalist) in March so far. Wow!

I'll raise my glass to that!

Lars

On 23. mars 2011, at 00.03, Sean Stephens wrote:

> Lassoers
>
> Caution: This blog post will take about 20-25 minutes to read.
>
> http://www.lassosoft.com/On-His-Blindness
>
> I hope this is a lid into my head, that you might see my thoughts.
>
> Sean Stephens
> CEO
> LassoSoft Inc.

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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

Ke Carlton-3
In reply to this post by Brad Lindsay-2
$548 per month on 400 customers is very poor return given the size of
the customer base.

So to be profitable any ISP would need to charge more than that and up
sell other services. That seems to be part of the problem — at the
moment Lasso is the hook whereas it's better suited to be an up sell
on top of other services... It seems to be a good opportunity for
large ISP to push VM services on their customers where infrastructure
permits.

Regardless, great post Sean.

Ke

On 23 March 2011 13:32, Brad Lindsay <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Exactly my point with my email that showed that the additional monthly cost to your customers — If you had 400 customers and you passed on the entire cost of the Lasso instance license (including your hosting membership fee), it's just $3.63 a month for them. Charge them $5 a month for it. They can then also get updates to Lasso whenever *they* want it. Win-Win-Win.
>
> Brad

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Re: [Blog] Pricing Rationale

jasonhuck
In reply to this post by Marc Pope-2
> I've been hosting Lasso for 10 years, i'd be surprised if there is that kind of numbers for 1 provider out there. Maybe I am wrong and maybe I have 2% of the market.



It's a very small pool in which to fish. I'm skeptical of this statement:

"If I call up Rackspace or 1&1 or GoDaddy with this model, they will
be all over it like a fat kid on a smartie. $1000/month is chump
change for advertising for Rackspace, and they will be getting
instances for $2/month, which is a simple upgrade listing price on
their site."

It may be chump change to them, but if there's no actual market for it
(of a size that matters to them), then there's no value in it. I don't
see why it would be appealing to them at all.

- jason

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