What mystified me was the turn the comments took: suddenly they went from giggling over the splashimation and exhortations to port Sculptor to other environments (Coda got several mentions) to an multi-party argument over which was better, Sculptor or Project VII‘s CSS Layout Magic.
As Al Sparber, creator of Magic, stated quite accurately, “They are two very different tools conceived in very different ways”—nothing to add to that, really. But even if we were to imagine a world where they were very similar tools that operated in very similar ways, I still don’t see why it would have to be a “battle” situation. It’s not like our world is so small that there’s only room for one of any given thing.
I mean, take a step back and look at the wider development landscape. There are a whole bunch of web development environments out there (Dreamweaver, Expression, Coda, Firefox with extensions, etc.). All of them serve the community, each in its own way. Each is used by a community of people, many of whom gather to help each other improve their skills. Why try to create conflict between those communities? What useful purpose could that possibly serve? We’d be as well served to start a Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux debate. Which is to say, not at all.
And so it is with the artificial conflict that so mystifies me, that of Sculptor vs. Magic. Project VII has very loyal customers, and rightly so: they put out great stuff. I hope that we’ll also have loyal customers, because that will mean we also created something great. (Obviously, I already think we did, but then I would, wouldn’t I?) It seems kind of obvious to me that these two communities have way more in common than they do differences. My usual reaction on encountering someone who’s a huge fan of a web site or a piece of software is to smile and nod knowingly, like we’re part of a secret club or something. Because in a sense, we are. We get fired up by the same kinds of things. We’re our kind of people.
I admit this is veering dangerously close to plaintive “can’t we all just get along?” territory, but c’mon, folks. There’s already more than enough tension and conflict in the world. Let’s try not to add to it, yeah? Now everybody throw the hörns! Seriously, throw ’em, and put in a little “ROCK!” just for me. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.