I agree. It doesn’t matter how good-value-for-money SD6 is, there’s a couple of reasons why I think an SD Lite would be good for both users and the developers:
Many many scripters are not going to fork out $99 for an AppleScript Editor. You can shout out the benefits and what great value it is all you like, but for most people who are only occassionally messing around with AS, they’re just not going to put their hands in their pockets to the tune of $100.
OK, so stuff them! Leave them with Script Editor?
Sure, but then Mark and Shane are leaving money on the table, because I know for a fact (i. because I was one such person and ii. because I’ve had this conversation many times with other such people) that those people (like Paul) would put their hand in their pocket to some extent for an AS editor that was better than SE.
Some would probably pay just for a spin off of the Dictionary viewer, since that is catastrophically hopeless in SE. I think a lot would probably pay $10 or $15 for an AS editor that offered nothing more than SE + the variables view in SD6 (I’m not even talking about the debugger here).
I suspect one worry for Mark is that it might cannibalise the SD market. I think that’s highly unlikely. As I say, we’re talking about people that are never going to be serious enough about AS to put their hands in their pockets to the tune of $99…unless you help them. And that’s where I think there’s a double-bonus of an entry-level SD. Just like WingIDE and other editors do, you can bring people toward your main product by letting them sniff a little bit of what they can do with a better tool.
When people start playing with a tool that makes them more productive, they get more interested, and then they want to see what else is available. You can offer discounts or incentives to people that come by that road, and that will in turn encourage others to try your ‘entry level’ tool before stepping up to the ‘pro’ tool. It’s such a widely deployed marketing tactic I’m surprised that Mark hasn’t done it before.
This could be good not just for LateNightSW, but for all us AppleScripters (adding the selfish angle!), in the sense of encouraging more people who try AS to actually stick with it and develop their skill with it. I know plenty of people that tell me they played around with SE, got frustrated and blamed their experience on AS in general.
I think there’s benefit to everyone to have a more varied s/w market out there for AS. And there’s no reason why LNS can’t be marketing more than one product at the same time and cashing in on different kinds of users.