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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [RT] Updating our marketing strategy
Date Thu, 24 Jul 2003 14:05:25 GMT

On Thursday, Jul 24, 2003, at 15:02 Europe/Rome, Berin Loritsch wrote:

> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>> I'm on the plane back to Italy. My iTunes plays Celia Cruz's "el 
>> carnival de la vida" in honor of her recent death. And I'm thinking 
>> that the time has arrived for this RT to land.
>> In really short term: Cocoon is mismarketed.
>> I think many realize this.
>> What many don't necessarely realize is that this has been kept so on 
>> purpose. At least by me.
> <snip/>
>> So, out strategy should be to "sneak cocoon behind the enemy lines", 
>> basically market it as some innocent thing that helps without hurting 
>> but without being pretentious about its capabilities.
> It worked for Linux...  And I think it is happening now anyways.  I 
> know
> I got it into my last company--but my current company does not have a 
> need
> for web based stuff (or if they do they us M$ technologies for 
> it--grmbl).
> We have the function down.  We can make things work quite nicely.  Now,
> the other issue is not making things work, but education.  The Linux
> Documentation Project (LDP) was started so that all the How-Tos and and
> Guides would lower the barrier of entry.  As a result, you can easily 
> go
> to the one-stop-shop and find out almost anything you need to know.
> The major issue with sneaking things behind enemy lines is ensuring the
> project can survive beyond the person who snuck it in.  Right now, the
> learning curve is just too high, because even though Cocoon encourages
> SoC most people don't know how to deal with that.  Any time you have a
> CTO that forces you to name variables a certain way (micromanagers in
> small companies), they are going to want to know every facet of Cocoon.
> I have constantly tried to get folks to work on one thing at a time.
> I tell them "I set it up so that all you have to do is create the 
> source
> files".  Out of the tens of people I have coached, only one really 
> "got it"
> before they had to work on something else or leave the company.
> Our Cocoon Documentation Project (CDP) should have a bunch of focussed
> How Tos to lower the barrier of entry.  Don't focus on the big honkin'
> guide--it will have to be changed and edited far too much anyway.

I completely agree.

>> Once cocoon enters a working environment, people wills start 
>> understanding the value of SoC and SoC-enforcing architectures and 
>> will be infected by this meme, resulting in the use of cocoon in more 
>> and more locations.
> Remember, it is included in JBuilder, which is no small feat.  As I 
> recall,
> I don't remember Struts or Turbine being included....  THat is a 
> definite
> start and part of the "marketing" package.

Yes, but they include Cocoon 1 and they do a really poor job at it. 
(the person who did the integration left the team, as well as those who 
decided to do it) I don't know if I want to attach myself to something 
that, pretty soon, will be removed. That would impact us too much.

>> I've seen this happening several times: cocoon entered by the back 
>> door and made it all the way to the front door and when people 
>> marketed it, they found out they were already using it!
> :) I love that story.  Same thing for what Cocoon is based on: Avalon.
> While I have found you can live quite comfortably without EJBs when we
> use Avalon components, the Avalon team never markets the framework as
> a competitor to EJBs.  Why?  Same reason Cocoon doesn't market itself
> as a competitor to other de facto standard systems.

There are rumors in the JBoss community that with a serious AOP you 
don't need EJB.

Avalon is just waay too far ahead of its time.

>> Cocoon is glue and duct tape for your web needs.
>> Sounds harmless, doesn't it? suppose you want to use cocoon in some 
>> of your web stuff because you like the features and the how it 
>> works...
> It's hard to nail down something as large as Cocoon in one line.

true, but we have to. otherwise the "cocoon is a web publishing 
framework based on xml technologies" will stick forever and we'll be 
harmed by it.

> <snip/>
>> The two scenarios reflect the different approaches we can take.
>> I propose to choose the humble one.
> I think that having a "Testimonials" section will also help.  Real 
> comments
> from real users.  How did it save time?  How did it make things easier 
> to
> maintain?  When did it pay off?

Yes, damn it. We need that.

I'll write a letter copying users@ for this.

>> At that point, we would be *inside* and cocoon will do the marketing 
>> itself by perpetuating its viral memes to the technical guys who will 
>> get more and more used to it and will start using it for more and 
>> more stuff.
>> At that point, we won't even have to go around saying "we are better 
>> than struts"... we just say we are different. people will choose what 
>> they like the best and what fits their needs the most.
>> What do you think?
> Isn't that what we are doing anyway?

yes, but officially we are still producing a publishing framework and 
then, hidden inside, there are other cool features.

We have to change course of promotion but still keep the humble 
attitude. This is my point.


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