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From Ben Hyde <bh...@pobox.com>
Subject Finding da fun.
Date Mon, 17 Nov 2003 22:17:20 GMT
Mark's good list got me thinking that we are coming at this in one of 
the classic ways.    Enumerate some issues, look for some solutions.

I'd like to suggest that there is another way.  We should be looking 
for the fun opportunities.

Installed bases are very hard to move forward.  You need to either 
force them or create unbelievably cool value.  I call these "upgrade 
forcers" to make it clear that they tend to be coercive.  Consider how 
amazing the 1984 Mac was compared to DOS and you'll get a feel for how 
hard it is to make new features and value into an upgrade forcer.  A 
large portion of the market is never going to move until there are 
forcers; for example their hardware or OS rots and they want to move to 
hardware that 1.3 doesn't support.  You wouldn't believe the market 
share of window's 95.  As Gates bemoans "Our largest competitor is old 
versions of the OS."

So I think people should relax, don't worry so much about 2.0 vs 1.3.  
I don't see exactly why that is a competition that needs our attention.


In this discussion people have been making two kinds of lists.  The 
list of hypothetical reasons why activity seems to be petering out.  
The list of possible cures for those hypothetical ills.

We need a third list.  A list of fun hacks that 2.0 enables.

It would be good to spend more effort on what the compelling value in 
the 2.0 family is and making it more accessible for people.  Doc that 
lowers the barrier to entry.  Success stories that create a sense of 
safety.

There is a lot that's cool in 2.0; a kernel that enables a lot of 
amusing fun thing to happen.  We need to awaken in people the desire to 
tap into that cool stuff.

For example there is a fun thing waiting to happen that involves a 
binary protocol between Mozilla and Http.  For example there are some 
interesting possibilities that help met the scripting languages 
halfway.  Filters could us a clever man's attention.   A rich C based 
XML module would be good.  Something along the lines of Cocoon.

So, The update rate of 2.0 is really a red herring.

I'm more concerned about what we can do to create a more awareness, 
desire, and opportunity for cool hacks to emerge.

  - ben


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