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From Roy Wilson <>
Subject Can market-first/measure-later sustain TC growth?
Date Wed, 01 Nov 2000 23:58:13 GMT

A matter of small importance, and of philosophy, but ...


> The great thing about this is that
> it gets some people jazzed about the project without making any
> real, solid claims.

I think I'm ok on this.

> And, about the sentence that says "performs well under heavy
> load, even compared to the native Apache web server"..  This
> works the same way, since we're not saying which web server,
> nor running on which operating system, nor under what conditions.
> We're not even saying a major version number.  So why is it in
> here?  Because, I heard through the grapevine that someone ran
> some meaningful (but not necessarily bullet-proof) performance
> tests and had this finding: that the version of Catalina that
> was tested at the time performed about as well on most tests
> as the version of their native Apache web server did on the same
> tests.

But what if there happens to also be in the gv a story about someone who 
has run some meaningful performance tests and found the contrary? To mix 
metaphors, the can-o-worms that you don't want to open gets opened 
anyway, does it not?  

> I personally don't want to spend time validating that,
> nor would I want to be the one to try to defend the results
> (it would likely turn into another "Java's not as fast as C"
> arguement).  

I agree with this, sort of.

> But, I believe it's possible, and I also believe
> that Catalina's web server performs quite nicely.

I am too am inclined to think that Catalina's webserver will perform well 
enough to satisfy someone somewhere, but aren't you claiming more?  

> Everyone should keep in mind that the purpose of our FAB is not
> to prove any performance numbers or to help engineers to
> understand Catalina's deep implementation details.  It's to make
> some not-so-technically-saavy readers want to help the project,
> promote the project, hire people to get it running and use it,
> etc.  We were primarily thinking of people like:

>  - CEOs, CTOs, and other management personnel
>  - Venture Capitalists
>  - Marketing staff
>  - [insert random Joe "Non-Technical" Businessman here]

I agree with the language used for the target audience, but see below.

> Reallly, people who don't know much about why their company
> should be interested in this thing called Catalina who aren't
> technically saavy enough to understand other docs that they
> can find about it (like the User docs, or other technical docs
> like the Classloader explanation doc or even the status doc..)
> How else can we each get permission to work full-time on cool
> projects like Catalina?  The better Catalina looks to both the
> technical and non-technical population at large, the more support
> the project will get overall, I think.

I think that the marketing-speak can't be broadcast until there is 
technical data to support it in some fashion. Otherwise, perhaps, some 
CEO/CTO/etc., asks a question that ultimately gets answered by a 
technically savvy person such as yourself who (in the absence of 
technical performance docs) might then be forced to reply "there's no 
!#%?! evidence!" 

I don't see how a market-first/measure-later approach can sustain growth 
in Tomcat support. But, then, maybe you guys are simply getting the 
market-speak in place :-).


Roy Wilson

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