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From "Ted Leung" <twle...@sauria.com>
Subject Re: Volunteers needed: Reboot of the XML 'PMC'. re: Arved's comment
Date Fri, 02 Mar 2001 23:37:52 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kimbro Staken" <kstaken@dbxmlgroup.com>
To: <general@xml.apache.org>
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 2:19 PM
Subject: Re: Volunteers needed: Reboot of the XML 'PMC'. re: Arved's comment

> Ted Leung wrote:
> >
> > There are companies out there, most notably Covalent, that are
> > making these kinds of efforts using ASF code.   In the webserver domain,
> > both IBM and Oracle are now using httpd as the base for their
> > server products.  I think that Apache has done pretty well without
> > directly involved in marketing.
> Except you already are directly involved in marketing. Every time
> somebody puts a powered by Apache logo on their web site, that is
> marketing. Every time you send a new product announcement to a mailing
> list, that is marketing. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the ASF
> should start buying advertising space in Computerworld. That isn't the
> point, what is the point is that you want the ASF XML project to grow.
> And to grow you need to get more people to use the software that you are
> producing. To get more people to use your software you need to do
> marketing, marketing in the open source world is not the same as
> marketing for a for profit company but that doesn't change the fact that
> it is still marketing. Your goal isn't to make money it is simply to get
> more users and more developers so that you can build more great
> software.

Actually, my goal is to build the right kind of community so that people
to come and work on software in their spare time.  The right kind of
will fall out of that.   I'm against corporatizing the XML project any more
it already is.  If we build the right kind of community, developers will
want to
work in it.  If developers want to work in it, they'll work out how to build
software, and if they build great software, people will use it.  And that's
the project should grow.

> >
> > I see a direct analog to Linux.  The Linux kernel hackers don't market
or do
> > any of the business stuff - they leave that up to companies like RedHat,
> > Mandrake, SUSE, etc.   I think that we're in a similar situation.   I
> > think
> > it's to the ASF's interest to be viewed as a vendor.
> >
> Again I posit that you are already a vendor you simply do not consider
> your self a vendor. I use the software developed by the ASF and I
> consider myself to be a customer and you to be a vendor. Just because no
> money changed hands doesn't mean this relationship does not exist. You
> may say that you are not obligated to provide support or any other
> services and in strict terms that is true. However, just like a
> traditional business if you do not provide support after the "sale"(i.e.
> download) as it were you too will go out of "business". BTW, I think you
> guys provide great support so don't get me wrong here.

Now we're splitting hairs over the meaning of the term vendor.   In my eyes
commercial software vendors are always trying to lock people into the
software that they're selling.  It's standard business operating procedure.
I don't
think that we want to be viewed that way.   I know I don't want to be viewed
that way.
I want to build great software, without the fetters of some marketing
person's release
schedule.  I want the freedom to tear Xerces apart and rebuild it after
learning some
lessons.   I want a place where we can experiment with things like Cocoon.
yes, I want a place where a user having trouble can exchange e-mail with the
that wrote the code that's a problem.

> > We already had major political problems at the inception of
> > because
> > of the involvement of too many big companies.  Becoming one ourselves
> > only
> > create more problems.
> Once again you are already a business, you just don't perceive your self
> to be one. For on thing the ASF is a Non-profit corporation so from that
> perspective your are legally a corporation. More practically though, you
> are in the business of creating software (product) for consumption by
> developers (customers) in exchange for feature requests, bug reports and
> development help (payment or revenue). The organization grows and
> prospers by having more and better software created (profits) then it
> loses to dead projects and bit rot(costs). Product, customers and
> revenue - costs = profits sounds like a business to me. To increase your
> profits so you can create more product you must increase your revenue
> which means you must increase your customer base and how do businesses
> usually do that ... marketing. It's all a matter of perception and how
> you think of your self.

Right.  And I don't want to think of myself or the project in the terms you
described.  I used to work on Xerces because IBM paid my salary to do it.
I work on it now because I want to, because I appreciate the code that has
been written and the code that we are talking about writing.   I work on it
because I like the people that are hanging out in the ASF mailing lists.
amount of marketing is going to change those factors for me.

Maybe it's just a matter of "positioning", since I agree that some more
and coordination of the project would be beneficial.  The are valid ways of
getting things done besides turning everything into a "business".   The
ASF projects are doing a pretty good job of doing this.  Our problem is that
we're not following the good example that they've set.


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