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Monday, December 27, 2004

Lisp vs. Java products, ant build process

A few weeks ago, I was talking with one of me consulting customers and we started discussing my commercial KBtextmaster product. I wrote the original 0.x version in Common Lisp and I am almost done with version 2, also written in Common Lisp. My customer stated the opinion that the marketability of compiled Lisp products is small compared to products written in Java. I decided in the last week that he was correct so I dusted off some old Java code (a port of the Lisp code to Java) written a few years go and decided to 'bite the bullet' and starting with the old Java port proceeded with porting over the new Lisp code to Java also.

Anyway, I spent about 5 hours today "coding like crazy" and I was surprised at both how easy it was to port changes over from Lisp to the old Java port code-base and to also update some of the old Java code with newer version 2 algorithms. If my consulting workload is not too much, I expect to get everything done in Java in a few weeks. I also decided to try a different marketing approach: I am going to sell the product for a very low price with a non-commercial (or educational) license and price it quite a bit higher with a commercial use license.

One of the things that I did today was to spend 20 minutes setting up a good ant build process to manage building and deploying the Java code. Ant is so useful to me that I have not bothered looking at alternatives like Maven (which is layered on top of ant).

While I had the flu last week, I made a first cut at a color brochure for the new KBtextmaster product - when it is done, I will post a PDF file :-) I got the idea for doing a color brochure from the people with the semantic web Sesame project: they produced a brochure for Sesame that does a very good job at promoting Sesame (in my opinion).