When something seems to incredible to believe, historically it’s proven to not be true, at least most of the time. This makes most people become suspicious of claims, such as these, where I claim to have “built a pyramid”, in the fraction of the timespan needed with other software development tools. The quote “free lunch” for the record, is a reference to how some bars used to serve a free lunch for their customers, as long as their customers bought at least one beer.
Of course, that one beer, quickly turned into 5 beers, and the “free lunch” they were given, often contained a lot of salt, which made people drink even more, and the bars would earn more money, by giving away a “free lunch”, resulting in that the so-called “free lunch”, quickly became expensive for the guests – Both on their guests’ liver, and on their wallets. Hence, some of my readers have asked me whether Hyperlambda is a “free lunch”, obviously suspicious of some of my claims. Well, Hyperlambda’s primary license is GPL, with a dual license path. Which implies the following …
Free as in freedom, not as in free beer
However, there actually do exists free lunches in the software industry. Don’t believe me, then please explain Linux. Facts are, there are no other ways to explain Linux, than to use analogies such as “free lunch”. Hyperlambda was (also) created, to a large extent out of altruistic reasons, the same way Linux was created. You see, software have a lot of peculiar traits, which allows it to (sometimes) actually become, either an actual “free lunch”, or at the very least an extremely inexpensive lunch. And I created Hyperlambda with some personal goals, that had characteristics, which implies that my personal motives was to make it become a “very inexpensive lunch”. To sum these up, my goal was to de-centralise the World Wide Web.
This doesn’t imply that there aren’t tradeoffs with Hyperlambda. Even though you can build pyramids with it, there are definitely side effects you should be aware of. For instance, you (probably) shouldn’t use it to create sites with humongous demands on traffic, such as Facebook and Twitter. Although you can create social websites with Hyperlambda, and Phosphorus Five to be more specific, it wasn’t designed to solve this particular problem.
Phosphorus Five and Hyperlambda was primarily created to extremely rapidly create enterprise apps, and not to clone StackOverflow. It was created to solve the “long tail problem”. The reasons for that creating such sites, such as StackOverflow, is very difficult with P5 – Is because the cost of its (superior) development model, is that you need to preserve state on the server. Of course, this is done virtually 100% transparent, and you rarely have to think about it, but this is something you’ll need to be aware of as you use it. Which implies that if you clone StackOverflow in Hyperlambda, you’ll need 10x-100x the amount of servers, to serve the same amount of users that SO is serving.
Hyperlambda is no free lunch, bit it’s definitely dirt cheap, and mighty delicious
However, if you were to create something such as StackOverflow in Hyperlambda, you could probably (easily) do it in 10x-100x faster, than if you used the tools that “CodingHorror” and Joel Spolsky used. This would allow you to create a website, which solves the same problem as StackOverflow, and has the same feature set as SO, but not the same scalability traits that SO does.
For most people, the above example actually illustrates, what for all practical concerns happens to be an actual “free lunch” – Since 99.9% of all developers on the planet, happens to be working on problems, that does not require the scalability traits that SO requires. So is Hyperlambda a “free lunch”?
Well, for 99% of the developers in the world, Hyperlambda is an ipso facto “free lunch”. But it is not a “free beer”
If you don’t understand my “free beer” analogy, please refer to Doctor Richard Stallman’s writings about “free as in freedom”.