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From Stephen Cameron <>
Subject Re: Transcribed IsisCon 2017 write-up
Date Sun, 18 Jun 2017 12:20:14 GMT
Hi All,

I'd like to make some kind of a contribution to this discussion, though I
agree with most of what I see written. But I'd also like to be a "devils
advocate" a little too.

I'm interested to get more work with Apache Isis, I have one live
application with a small group of users (about 10) who enjoy using it and
its been very reliable now for about 6 months. I also have a personal
project that I am developing as well,as time allows, one that I'm trying to
use best-practices on, well making use of what I learned on the first

In regards to marketing of Apache Isis, to explain my thinking i'll first
state that to me IT seems to me both fashion driven and conservative at the
same time.

Fashion driven in that waves of what appears new cycle through repeatedly,
are latched onto by the big players - when it suites their ends, and then
get diluted as the novelty is duplicated or incorporated into the
establised encumbent systems or languages.

Conservative in that major change such as using an new application
framework is expensive and has risks, and very few established businesses
are interested in leading technically, that is unless their business model
is competition based on technology. I think of something like SAP's ERP
systems as the purchaser organisation conforming to the SAP domain model,
so the opposite of being interested in using DDD and for many businesses it
makes sense (despite the cost) to go this way.

Also conservative in that what comes to be a dominant 'paradigm' in
open-source software isn't necessarily the technically most advanced,
rather its what satisfies a need at a specific time and then becomes
well-known and rapidly improved too, I am thinking of numerous PHP based
things, more recently AngularJS. Once established its very hard to displace.

So I am leaning more towards the idea of Apache Isis marketing being
targeted mostly at a technical audience, maybe even at a very technical
one, that this is the best means for Apache Isis to grab a little "slice of
the action" and as a result to prosper in the long-term. I agree 100% with
its strengths, as have been described, being in a complex domain app
scenario, but also that there are just so many good alternatives being use
for the less complex (but maybe nicer looking) things, and many developers
competing for the work.

My vision is essentially an enhanced version of what I see currently exists
in the project, that there are now very competent programmers (I am not in
that league) doing a few very complex projects and the framework is
progressively being improved within in a feed-back loop, something is
needed someone (usually Dan) does it essentially. The way to make this more
sustainable is for more such projects to get going (I hope my project can
be one of them eventually).

So, 3 things seem desirable, (1) get some more good (complex) projects
started with Apache Isis, (2) try to stop projects for which Apache Isis is
not a good fit being started and taking time on the mailing list and
potentially failing too (3) seeking feedback on why Apache Isis was not
chosen when it potentially would have been a good fit. I can think of a few
ideas with regards to (1),  (2) and (3) are maybe another email.

Getting some more good projects started

My strategy has been to look for potential clients that will benefit from
complex custom (or customised) software and to target them. I've not been
very successful in this so far I have to admit, I attribute this in part to
my own sales ability, but also to my location in Tasmania which doesn't
have alot of head-offices where CTOs are generally. located. However, there
are a few industries that are growing here and I'm now seeking  small but
growing firms in those sectors (food and maybe tourism).

One major sector I have to ignore is government, they are both very
conservative and very unwilling, despite their rhetoric, to give something
new that doesn't have a major player behind it a chance. I once did a
tender proposal that was priced at half the winning bid, it was thought too
risky an approach to consider. I'd have another go with Apache Isis but
only if the application was a very good fit for Apache Isis and those are
only likely to be Federal projects out of Canberra. I have to be honest and
say at 55 my energy to go looking there is not very high but does seem to
me that government projects are often going to be good ones for Apache Isis
(maybe if I find one here I can call on a pool of talent overseas?)

The other scenario that seems to make sense is for a small software house
to use Apache Isis as the basis of a system that is sold, as I understand,
the way its been used by Oscar Bou's group.

So this approach is not based on selling Apache Isis features, but on me
leveraging them to advantage in supplying a service to my potential
clients. I just tend to say I use Java because I can utilise some good
open-source frameworks as a base or incorporate libraries in when needed.

Thinking about marketing to technical audience, a name change would still
be worthwhile, and of those listed from the gathering I tend to like Apache
Tailor most as it reflects the custom-made or  'tailor-made' strengths of
Apache Isis well (a nice icon could be produced from it too). [I am relaxed
about the new name - but - In the notes there is a reference to jazz, might
be an in joke but a famous (and very individualistic) jazz guitarist by the
name of Allan Holdsworth [1][2] died recently, Apache Holdsworth has a nice
ring and there would be connection to that other popular generated UI
Python framework].

The main issue is how to make more developers aware of Apache Isis I think.
Marketing is still needed for this and targeted advertising is one way to
do this I feel. If you cannot afford advertising some kind of a publicity
stunt is an alternative, anyone volunteering?  Another idea is simply to
look at the already good documentation and think of ways to use that
resource in other "look what I do" showing off ways. The videos that Dan
has done are good, maybe that is the answer for others could make quality
videos linked to sections of the documentation.



On Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 3:35 PM, Dan Haywood <>

> Hi folks,
> I've just gone through the photo attachments on the IsisCon write-up [1]
> and transcribed them into text; a little bit easier for others to consume.
> For those who were there, it would be great if you could flesh out those
> bullet-points with your own recollections of discussion points that were
> made that were not written down on the whiteboards.  I've added one or two
> points of my own along the way.
> Cheers
> Dan
> [1]

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