[ng-dhtml] Promotion

Martin Cooper martinc at apache.org
Sun Aug 29 12:20:04 CDT 2004

Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents on promotion, based on my own experience
with open source projects...

Not knowing how many folks on this list are Java web developers, I'll start
with a brief history of the last 5 years of that world. Don't worry, I'll
keep it as short as I possibly can. ;-) It might not seem relevant at first,
but trust me, it is.

In early 2000, the hot topic on the Sun jsp-interest and servlet-interest
mailing lists was something called Model 2 development. This was the notion
that MVC could be applied to Java-based web development, with servlets
fulfilling the 'C' role and JSP pages acting as the 'V'. At the time, far
too many people were using JSP pages for the 'M', the 'V' and the 'C',
without thinking about it. The idea seems obvious now, but it wasn't, to
many people, back then.

In May 2000, Craig McClanahan posted a message to the jsp-interest and
servlet-interest lists, announcing the creation of a new Apache project
called Struts. Struts was borne of Craig's own experiences in building
sophisticated web applications, where the need for a core framework became
painfully clear.

Very quickly, many of the people who had been experiencing the pain of
developing web apps using either pure servlets or Model 1 development
(a.k.a. JSP for everything) subscribed to the Struts mailing lists. A few
people (myself included) realised that this was a sea change in Java web app
development, and got more involved with the project.

Today, Struts is the single most successful Java web app framework in
existence. The Struts mailing lists have more subscribers than any other
Java project at Apache, including Tomcat. There are dozens of books on
Struts, and many more that have chapters on Struts. Experience with Struts
shows up on almost every Java web developer's resume these days.

Very important to note here is that we (the Struts team) did NO promotion.
Some of us hung out on the mailing lists where the people feeling the pain
hung out, and pointed them to Struts. That's it. All of the real work of
promoting Struts happened through the users, through word of mouth, and
through other people writing about it.

End of history lesson. ;-)

So what's the point? The point is that you (we) need to get involved with
the communities that feel the pain. You can scream and shout all you like
about how great dojo is, but if the people who feel the pain are not within
earshot, you would be wasting your time.

So hang out where the pain is. Join some of the mailing lists (e.g. the
Struts User list or wherever you feel comfortable), start helping with
people's JavaScript problems, show them what can be done, point them to
dojo, add a snappy dojo sig to your messages, etc. etc. That's how you'll
get the mindshare you want - and need - for dojo to succeed.


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