of the dangers of becoming involved with a language
tool such as FunnelWeb is that you become dependent upon it.
If FunnelWeb were to stop working for some reason, your
.fw files would become unuseable. This can happen
because of operating system upgrades, copyright problems,
unfixable bugs, or just the inability of the program to be
ported to a new target platform.
I am critically aware of these issues, and have taken
the following steps to ensure that FunnelWeb provides a
stable base upon which to build software:
Open source: FunnelWeb's C source code has
been released under GNU General Public License Version 2.
This means not only that FunnelWeb is available free of
charge, but that the source code to FunnelWeb is available
to you free of charge too. If a FunnelWeb executable ever
stops working, you can compile a new version on your
platform. If ever you run up against a serious bug, you can
always fix it.
Portability: FunnelWeb has been designed
and written to be extremely portable. First, all FunnelWeb
really does is read and write text files, which are very
portable operations. Second, FunnelWeb is written in the C
programming language with portability as a major design
goal. Third, FunnelWeb has already been ported to many
popular platforms (including Windows, Macintosh, Solaris,
and OpenVMS) and will probably compile on many others, with
almost no change. Fourth, FunnelWeb comes with a
comprehensive automated regression test suite that makes it
easy to pinpoint problems when it is moved to a new
platform. All this amounts to an assurance that if you have
to migrate to a new platform, FunnelWeb can migrate with
Quality: The FunnelWeb source code is
stable high quality code. Design decisions have not been
taken lightly. FunnelWeb V3.0 has been in daily use since
its release in 1992, and the few bugs that were found were
all fixed in FunnelWeb V3.2.
Documentation: FunnelWeb is comprehensively
the FunnelWeb Reference Manual,
the FunnelWeb Tutorial Manual
and the FunnelWeb Developer Manual.
These manuals, plus the source code, provide the
ultimate reference for any questions about FunnelWeb
you may have.
Language stability: To protect your
investment in the FunnelWeb language, I intend to ensure
that future versions of the official version of FunnelWeb
maintain backwards compatibility so that existing FunnelWeb
files can always be processed. Having done most of my
programming since 1986 using FunnelWeb, I am not in a
position to compromise on backwards compatibility!
It is my hope that together these elements will
eliminate any fears you may have about the stability
and availability of the FunnelWeb language.
Copyright © Ross N. Williams 1992,1999. All rights reserved.