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weblogo:docs:ideas

WebLogo Ideas

This is a short doc containing a few ideas about how to license WebLogo. The ideas have not been tested at all, and some of them may not realizable.

Major Issues

WebLogo has a big problem: it cannot access local files.

On the positive side is that WebLogo can access Google Drive, WebDAV servers, predefined storage on the Terrapin server, and local storage.

  • Google Drive: If WebLogo is run from weblogo.terrapinlogo.com, it can access files and folders on Google Drive. This is a way to offer file access, especially because you can install a Google Drive client and thus move files there as if it were a local drive. Google Drive is quite slow, though.
  • WebDAV: I am working on the implementation of an open-source WebDAV server that has a few Logo oddities added, like e.g. adding metadata information about the eading of images and more. The WebDAV client is an integral part of both Windows and OSX; On Windows, you simply map a drive letter to the URL, and you have full access to the WebDAV files. WebDAV is faster than Google Drive, and files could be stored on a local server. THere are lots of services out there that speak WebDAV.
  • Predefined storage: The Logo Toolbox is actually stored on the Terrapin server. Logo can load files from there, and list the contents.
  • Local storage: Browsers have a sort of mini database where they can store key/value pairs. This is sufficient for a small file system. Logo can access this area as if it were a local folder, but the files are not visible outside of the browser.

Logo can also not print the Graphics panel, nor can it save the Graphics panel. The browser can, of course, print a screen shot, though.

Licenses

Logo 4 licenses were thought to be easy to handle. Well, it cannot be easy enough, so I'd opt for a different licensing scheme.

What if we switched to a user/password login for WebLogo? When ordering WebLogo, customers enter a desired username and password. On payment, this combo is just activated.

The WebLogo main page would be a login dialog with two buttons: “Login”, and “No thanks; I'll just try it out”. Logged-in users have full access to WebLogo and more (see below), while guest users have access to a toned-down version without storage.

As before, we can limit Logo's file saving feature for unlicensed users.

To user maintenance, we have an own database; Magento can access and fill this database automatically. For school network admins, we can store additional config data, like e.g. the configuration of local school storage. For advanced admins, we could even offer a pre-packaged storage server (WebDAV) that they can install easily.

Storage

Although WebLogo can connect to several storage providers, I believe that setting up storage would be way over the head for the average teacher. Therefore, I suggest that we offer storage space on a server for registered users, and set up that storage when Logo starts. The space can be small, because Logo programs are typically small.

For multi-user licenses, we need a way to add sub-users. I do not yet have a good idea about how to implement that (a second user field? Or a scheme like main.sub?). We would probably set up standard user names for sub-users, like e.g. “challengerschools” and “user1” through “user25”. We can talk about how this would look like. Maybe we also should offer main users a way to rename sub-users. Each sub-user has his/her own storage space, and read-only access to the main user's storage, where that user could store projects or tasks.

WebLogo Apps

It is tempting to offer an environment that creates programs that do not look like a Logo program. We had the Logo runtime back in version 3, we had Logo packages in Logo 4; now, we should offer Logo apps. The Scratch environment is also so popular because people can upload their projects for everyone else to run.

The WebLogo main page would have sections like “create project” or “create app”, where users could create their own app space, and then upload files into that space. They choose an app name and an app title. Apps would be available as e.g. weblogo.terrapinlogo.com/myapp.

We may also want to register a domain like e.g. logoapps.net, and apps would be available as myapp.logoapps.net.

What would we need?

  1. Web space. Logo programs are not big at all; we could easily add another DigitalOcean box that would be a dedicated Logo server, or we rent a server with more disk space elsewhere.
  2. Tailored Logo versions. Logo can detect if it runs as an app, and it would disable certain extensions. Also, there are commands available that alter the Logo layout; Logo would offer minimalist layouts with just the Graphics panel, the Output panel, and the Listener panel; another layout even hides the Listener.
  3. The WebLogo main page links to a “Manage My Apps” page that gathers all information, let people enter their project name, their description, and have a drop area where they drop their files for upload.

Making Money?

Would people be willing to pay for such a service? I am not sure. Hard-core developers like Stan are rare, and we cannot ask Stan for any money. On the other hand, if we are able to offer a free web page where people would upload their stuff, it could be an interesting marketing opportunity.

Needless to say that this service would only be available to licensed customers. Also, the number of apps could be related to the size of the license.

weblogo/docs/ideas.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/22 06:09 (external edit)