Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

david and goliath

Don has posted a comment on spaces and my previous post about OSAF. Don says:

Diego Doval voices his own perspective as a potential Chandler competitor. He is building a product called spaces that looks interesting. It overlaps somewhat with my own effort called Docuverse Daily.

I have received many private feedback similar to his from small developers. Unlike Diego, they have chosen not to respond publically for obvious reasons.

This is probably the most problematic effect of OSAF, as I mentioned before: Small developers that would have been inclined to try something new might now feel discouraged given that OSAF has such resources. In fact, in a recent posting on his weblog Mitch Kapor explained:
One thing CNET did get right -- we're not aiming Chandler at the large enterprise market. As shipped, I'm certain it will flunk the checklist because we are not doing the work to make it scale to an organization of 1,000 or 10,000 people. Selling to large enterprises is where Microsoft rakes in the big money for Exchange server(s) and license fees. In that sense, as CNET reported accurately, we're not a threat to Microsoft's business.
. If not a threat to Microsoft, if their target is specifically small organizations or individuals that might be inclined to try different, better, cheaper things, then they are clearly a threat to small developers who for obvious reasons target the same market. It might be that the possibility of tilting the field in the long run against Microsoft's dominance is enough to risk that chance, but I am not sure (and when I say I am not sure, I mean that I actually haven't made up my mind about it). To put it in context, could Lotus have gotten off the ground if Dan Bricklin would have made a 1-2-3 alternative open-sourced? (and yes, I know the situation is different, but let's put our "imagination hats" on for a second :-)). Maybe it would have risen anyway.

I guess that the bottom line is that small developers have always seen open source as their friend, and now it appears that we might actually end up fighting each other. Personally, I think that a solution will be found, since I doubt that Mitch's goal with OSAF is to crush small developers, and certainly exposing people to alternatives makes them more open to try even other new things. In any case, time is on our side. Don's comments have sparked a good discussion that should continue and we should try to find alternatives, and the one thing that I know for certain is that the people that say that the discussion is over are just plain wrong.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on October 25 2002 at 12:39 AM

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