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From Ryan Ramage <ryan.ram...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Part2: What's up dev? About couchapps.
Date Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:27:07 GMT
Hey all, I am glad this topic is resurfacing and with some great
discussion. I have some irons in the fire with this with garden20.com
as many of you have seen. Here is my perspective.

I find most of the discussion above is backwards. Backwards in terms
of perspective. We are thinking as developers. It is tough because
CouchDB is first and foremost a database. But once we cross into the
realm of writing apps on top of db, we have to switch and think of the
User. They become number one. If no one uses or likes your app then it
dies. And in this space competition is fierce and we as developers are
just middlemen delivering a product to users.

But working backwards, we start getting into the realm of discussion
above. Development teams scan the landscape for tooling that will
provide the user with the best experience. That is why some 'fruity'
companies have legions of developers. The have fantastic user
experience. But probably a lot of us here strongly dislike the strong
arm these 'fruity' companies use to exercise control of markets, apps,
data, etc.

But as Noah talks about product advertising, positioning,
messages...this is the place for couchapps. It is a 'product' that
puts the user in control of their apps, their data, etc. We have a
chance to rally people around this. But the real problem is that
people don't really understand this. Both developers and users. They
go to websites, they build websites. They install apps on their
mobiles, they make apps for mobiles. What the hell is a couchapp? Why
would I use it?

In my mind, these are the use cases we need to get across to both
users and developers:

1. Personal apps that run and sync on all your devices, and a cloud provider.
2. Corporate/Org sites that are build on smaller units of couchapps as
modules. Wikis, Forums, Issues. Users can sync work offline with their
mobile devices.
3. Public facing sites that are build on smaller units of couchapps as
modules. Probably confusing for people to work/sync offline but
possible.
4. Fringe apps that will be taken down if hosted centrally.

All the above are not catered to very well by the traditional
app/website tooling out there. All of the above use cases put the User
first. We have to drill that home.

I have really tried to put the user first with garden20.com and make
it work like that. It provides a consistant navigation between
installed apps. It provides a revamped and modernized market like
people are used to with app stores. It provides app management for
installation, upgrades and user access. Theme support, and much more.
I believe that couchapps are just not the build tooling, but also how
they work together.

I still dont think I am there, yet. It has been a ton of work. I am
fully committed to keep it open source. I even offer to donate it into
couchdb proper. I just wanted/needed some space to do it as I saw it.

I guess that is the huge challenge with the community. Many of us want
to do it as we see it and it risks fracturing the community. We have
Benoit doing awesome stuff on rcouch and refuge. We have many
different couchapp tools, all in various states of support How do we
manage this? I have no answers. But I am willing to work together in
an open environment to get it better. I hope on that we can all agree.

Ryan

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