[dojo-contributors] what is the raison detre for dojo 2.0.

Ken Benjamin kenbenjamin at kenbenjamin.net
Thu Oct 11 09:52:18 EDT 2012


It's much easier to win people at the beginning than to make converts
later.

That's why I'm saying we SHOULD go after the "people who don't like to
think."

We won't get them all, nor should we try (and some we'll wish we hadn't
gotten), but we should make it easy enough to get started that "thinking"
is optional.

Dojo: Simple to start, powerful when you need it.

Now all we need is some simple to start materials.

We need to attract these beginners precisely because they "don't *realize*
they need Dojo because they don't even understand or fathom the problems
it will solve for them."

Thinking (and the dawning realization that you have problems to fathom) is
something you'll find soon enough when your app is more than a button or
two and a few animations, then the full power of Dojo will be right there
waiting for you.

Maybe it's a bit arrogant to say, but I'll say it. We know better than
these beginners. We have more experience and we do fathom the problems
they will likely have to solve.

Dojo is the collective work of a bunch of smart, experienced programmers
who take their shot at providing the "best" toolkit to solve a wide
variety of problems. I think the result is pretty impressive.

You're 100% right that it is what we do for people that is our value but
we need to market that value or it's possible nobody will know, or care,
about Dojo in 7+ more years.

Marketing has very little to do with quality. If we want Dojo to continue
to be relevant, with a vibrant, growing, and engaged community (large
enough to write books for), we will need to pay attention not only to the
technology but to how we market it. Far too often, the best product loses
out to a more mediocre product with better marketing (Sharepoint/Exchange
vs. Lotus Domino to hit home with a few of you).

It is a competition but it is more a battle with ourselves than trying to
"beat" any competitors, many of whom think that their solution is "best."
With that said, how can we make Dojo the first choice for as many people
as possible while staying true to our RIA roots and broader goals?

Ken B

-----Original Message-----
From: dojo-contributors-bounces at mail.dojotoolkit.org
[mailto:dojo-contributors-bounces at mail.dojotoolkit.org] On Behalf Of
Kenneth G. Franqueiro
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2012 3:07 PM
To: dojo-contributors at mail.dojotoolkit.org
Subject: Re: [dojo-contributors] what is the raison detre for dojo 2.0.

On the contrary, to pretend this *is* a competition (and one that we
should "win") is naive to the extreme, and I am glad that Dylan and Ken
have put their 2c in on this issue (just as myself and Colin and Brian and
maybe a couple of others did during last night's meeting, sorry if I'm
forgetting names).  I was seriously losing sleep last night over the fact
that other people are apparently losing sleep over this imaginary "war".

As Dylan said, we should be focusing on our APIs and on solving problems
people need to solve.  If we can come up with marketing to put us in a
better position in the end as a result *of* that, that's great.  But the
point remains that a lot of people don't *realize* they need Dojo because
they don't even understand or fathom the problems it will solve for them,
and as I said in my previous e-mail on this thread, that's a hard
marketing task to solve - not necessarily an up-front design task.

Trying specifically to compete with something that we are not directly in
competition with (because Dojo serves a far broader and more powerful set
of purposes) is a waste of effort, when what we should be doing is trying
to repeat the success of what we did 7+ years ago - figure out what people
need to be successful, based on the technology that exists today and might
exist tomorrow - years before anyone else figures it out.  Unfortunately,
predicting the future as well as Dojo has in the past doesn't always win
marketing.

If we try to win by specifically picking a war, we've already lost.  We
need to win based on the virtues of our toolkit - we just need to figure
out how to better get those virtues across.  At the same time, we need to
come to terms with the fact that Dojo is for people who understand that
JavaScript is Serious Business and want to build great things, and is not
for people who don't like to think (which is squarely where jQuery wins
biggest in the marketing department).  Should we put effort into vetting
our APIs to make sure they're as easy to use as we can fathom?
Absolutely.  But we shouldn't fret over users who don't "get it" and have
no interest in "getting it", because we also have many who DO get it, and
they deserve our continued support.  On the other hand, if we can do
better to help educate and guide users who don't yet "get it" but *do*
show a clear interest in doing so, that is absolutely something we should
strive for.

--Ken

On 10/11/2012 8:29 AM, Rawld Gill wrote:
>
>> From: Dylan Schiemann
>>
>> Frankly, I don't care at all about competing with other toolkits. I'm
>> tired of hearing about how we can win the war. Why are we at war,
>> rather than working hard to grow with the community at large?
>
> And I'm tired of investing time only to have a significant customer base
complain dojo it "too complicated,  too big, etc.; that's why we use ...."
And how many times have we heard one of our key contributors tried to
convince management to use dojo...and failed.
>
> There is much less to be learned looking at our successes than our
failures. Alternative toolkits win in some areas because we have either
(1) failed to provide a better solution or (2) failed to communicate the
better solution that we have. So, I want to understand
>   * where we have lost
>   * why
> And then fix it.
>
> To pretend this is not a competition is naive in the extreme. I don't
care what you call it--"war" or "growing our customer base"--we cannot
continue to cede market share because "we're so sophisticated and advanced
that those customers are too stupid to use us"...which has been the
attitude of some.
>
>
>>
>> Rather than focusing on building the one walled garden yet completely
>> open toolkit to rule them all, Dojo and the Dojo Foundation should be
>> thinking about how we can take our knowledge and make both our
>> toolkit and any others that share our open ideals better.
>>
>> What I personally care about is creating a collection of tools (a
>> toolkit) that continues to make it simpler to build well architected
>> and highly performant apps, and that is easy to split up and scale up.
>>
>> The focus needs to be on the APIs and tools and features that we need
>> to deliver on, and growing our community by becoming part of the
>> bigger community. We didn't start Dojo to win the war, we started
>> Dojo to change the web and make it more open and collaborative.
>
> What do you think "winning a war" means? To me, it means winning the
dominate market share. You don't want to do this? Why are some so afraid
to say, "we want to be the best and we want everybody to use us"? ...which
is a longer way of saying "we want to win".
>
>>
>> We need to focus on building an amazing foundation, pushing things
>> forward, and people will continue to notice. We've had a lot more
>> interest lately as people take another look at Dojo, and interesting
>> group of new people that have become involved, or that want to see
>> where
>> 2.0 goes to see how they can help.
>>
>> One idea I've had involves sort of having the foundation be a bit
>> less about silo-ed projects, and more about areas of interest that
>> one or more projects can come together to collaborate on.
>>
>> For example, this might look something like:
>>
>> * Utilities
>> * Modules
>> * Language improvements and shims
>> * UI (widgets, themes, mobile, effects, vector graphics, etc. ...
>> this one is probably too big)
>> * Data/MVC
>> * Server-side integration/REST/Real-time
>>
>> with the idea being to encourage projects with overlap to more easily
>> collaborate across projects where it makes sense. People could either
>> be involved with projects, or just involved in an area of interest,
>> or both. It might make the foundation a more inviting place to
encourage collaboration, etc.?
>> But more importantly I think, it would encourage projects to perhaps
>> share some common APIs, so that each microtoolkit isn't reinventing the
wheel.
>>
>> The goal for Dojo 2.0 should not be to try and take on the weight of
>> the world and do everything, but should be to provide the right set
>> of tools and community and vision so that our users can do everything
>> with Dojo as part of that story.
>
> What, precisely, are you saying we should not do? I keep hearing these
kind of fuzzy statements, but nobody will tell me exactly where we are
planning on not competing.
>
>>
>> Until we have that, I don't care about the competition, because it
>> frankly doesn't matter and it's the wrong place to put the attention
>> of an open source project as we're trying to plan towards 2.0.
>>
>> Looking at the various suggestions, those from Colin, Rick Waldron, &
>> James Burke mesh most closely with what I think our priorities should
>> be for 2.x, as well as what I wrote of course.
>>
>
> I don't see how any suggestions made so far by the collective community
are inconsistent with competing against any of the other popular toolkits.
If that's what we're doing, then we better understand where we've failed
in the past and fix that before throwing another bunch of code out there
and hoping it will work out better this time.
>
> --Rawld
>
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