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From Alessandro Bottoni <>
Subject The User is the King (was: Cocoon Competitors)
Date Thu, 22 Jun 2000 09:24:59 GMT
Hi Cocoons,

[Montefin wrote: ]
Well, I've always preferred the term 'Parallel Development' to
'Competitor'. It makes for greater cross-fertilization and

[Alessandro Bottoni]
What's wrong with competition? For sure, unfair competion (MS vs. Netscape,
for example) is bad, but why competition in itself should be bad? I would be
happy to see two groups of developers compete for delivering the best piece
of software (and I would be even happier to see that they can make some
money out of their hard work...). This is what is going on between KDE and
GNOME, as long as I can see.

[Stefano Mazzocchi wrote: ]
> I have more 'flight time' with Cocoon than the others. But I think
> that's partly a consequence of the time it takes to get Cocoon cooking.

Ever considered how much intentionality there is in this ;-)

[Alessandro Bottoni]
Stefano, I understand you are partially kidding but, please, consider that
you are writing software for real people that does not have to be educated
in a special way just to install and use your software. Most of us either
have no skill or no time to "play" with software: we just need to have the
"darn thing" running for doing what the software is expected to do (serving
XML, in this case...).

The need for an easy setup, configuration and use still exist even if you
create tools aimed to programmers or sysadmins. Programmers are "normal"
people, too, and do not like to waste their time fighting with unneeded
intricacies and obscure documentation, do you?

[Stefano Mazzocchi wrote: ]
Yep, it's harder to create a community out of perfect software... and a
community is what drives a project in the long run...  

[Alessandro Bottoni]
What drives an Open Source project, in the long run, is a diffused need to
support an existing tool that is required for performing some kind of
important task. As you know, Apache was developed because there was a need
for a good, free web server. The community coalesced around an already
widespread server (NCSA) and took care of its development and maintenance.
The same happened to Linux (coming from the existing Minix) and many other
Open Source projects.

I have seen many communities of skilled programmers going nowhere because
the need for a tool was not diffused and strong enough to convince people to
work on it (during the week-end, on their holydays, late in the night,
etc...) or because there was no real software to work on. Internet is full
of web pages devoted to ambitious projects that do not move since a long

You can have a community of programmers around a project if this tool
already solves a real problem of a community of USERS and gets widely
diffused and appreciated. So: no satisfied users, no volunteer

See you.
Alessandro Bottoni (
Web Programmer @ Think3 inc. (
I do not speak for think3 and they return the favour

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