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From Simon Metson <si...@cloudant.com>
Subject Re: Part2: What's up dev? About couchapps.
Date Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:47:06 GMT
Hey, 
I think if your user knows they're using a couchapp you've made a mistake. As a user I shouldn't
care about what technology stack my app is built upon, just that I like it and it works (by
magic). You're thinking like a developer, while advocating thinking like a user ;)

IMHO a lot of the problem in the past with couchapps is people making out that they're earth
shattering things. They're not, they're just a neat way of making a web app that runs out
of a database - this is not a new thing. It's done neatly, but it's not life changing. 

We need to convince developers that building apps on this stack is a good thing, and things
like garden20.com will help with that, if we can maintain an active CouchDB community. Going
forward I think this means being honest about deficiencies and avoiding the kool aid a bit.
Nothing puts developers off faster than an overhyped product that doesn't deliver.

Sorry to be negative, after such a cheerleader post. I really like your use case summary and
I think that's a great place to build a new couchapp.org or couchdb.apache.org/apps page from.
People talk about couch apps/CouchDB as "ground computing" so lets keep ourselves grounded
while discussing these concepts, internally and externally. Maybe then, eventually, they'll
grow into something earth shattering...
Cheers
Simon


On Monday, 24 September 2012 at 17:27, Ryan Ramage wrote:

> 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 (http://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 (http://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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