Lost Opportunity 2
I thought I would pick two previous projects and look at their potential as Open Source projects. The second I picked is a bit whacky. It was written almost entirely in DCL and provided an automated help desk job logging, analysis and reporting tool and knowledge base. To write this in DCL is a testament to the flexibility and power of the VMS scripting environment and indexed files and the creativity of one of its developers, (not me). But the concept was mine and its ‘conceptual integrity’ was maintained for many years. What value could this have had in an Open Source context:
- The application itself had little value, although it was trivial to deploy and could have proved very popular for other small support teams.
- The tools developed to manage a complex system constructed from DCL would have been very valuable
- The library of DCL routines would have been very useful to the community
- The concepts used in the system which allowed 4GL like application development may have inspired other developers to rapid application prototyping of similar applications.
This system lived for well over a decade and died because the team that used it were disbanded, had that not happened it may have continued to spiral out of control through entropy like neglect which Open Source enthusiasm and stewardship would/might have prevented.