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Joel's Platforms essay

As always, excellent. Thanks.

Stan Krute
Friday, August 30, 2002

Thanks Joel.  A runtime, better documentation and better tools would make a HUGE difference in the adoption rate of the Groove platform.

I will not buy in to their partner program. I shouldn't have to. They should be busting their back ends to make building Groove applications easier than for any other platform. They do a great job of complacency immune security. Let's see if they can make it porting-effort immune and ramp-time immune for developers.

And you are right on about Notes. I lived in that world for many years.

Dan Sickles
Friday, August 30, 2002

A great essay as always. But two questions from a non-techie:

-What's an 'NLM'?

-If Groove charged for the version with collaboration, as Joel suggests, wouldn't CityDesk be back to square one vis-a-vis peer-to-peer site collaboration?

Ryan Tate
Friday, August 30, 2002

"What's an 'NLM'?"

Netware Loadable Module.  Basically (and very simply) a program that ran on Novell's network operating system (Netware).

The basic Netware did file/print services very well but wasn't a general purpose operating system (like Windows or Unix). NLS's allows 3rd parties to write applications to run on the same box as the server (like a database or a mail server).

There were/are very few compilers capable of generating the NLM executables and there was limited support in Netware itself for the NLMs. IIRC, on at lease one version of Netware the NLS ran in ring 0 along with the operating system...

Friday, August 30, 2002

and I don't use VS.NET and I don't want to buy it just for Groove.  If it was a sunk cost then great!

Dan Sickles
Friday, August 30, 2002

Much to like and agree with about this article.

And I can certainly see Joel's interest in providing Groove services in CityDesk for the customers who have been requesting them. And I can see that you'd want to keep your cost of adding these services as low as possible.

Is there perchance a middle-ground? One that allows you to respect the work the author of groove has put into his work.

After all, I recall that you are not a big proponent of free software yourself... you're not giving away CityDesk for free, and I don't think you should.

Why not incorporate the Groove features as an optional plugin? Users who want all that "CityDesk Net Collab Pro" has to offer can pay a bit extra for the extra features, which they should be glad to do after all.

You get to provide the services you want to provide without having to go to the trouble of writing them yourself. Groove's aouthor gets paid. Your customers are happy. Everybody wins.

Sarain H.
Friday, August 30, 2002

Very interesting article.

Another good exemple of "too greedy vendor" can be found in the WAP example. The Telecom operator (at least in Europe) didn't want to share the wonderful projected revenue from m-commerce and other mobile data business. Result: WAP is a huge failure (services are terrible, so no user, so no revenue, so no one wants to invest in it any more)

On the opposite, Japan DoCoMo created the plaform (i-Mode) and made it easy to develop for it => i-Mode is a huge financial success for DoCoMo

Robert C.
Saturday, August 31, 2002

I just posted under the "Notes is Dead" topic something that should have probably been here.

I agree with Joel, and believe that is exactly why .NET CLR, VB.NET, and C# will become a powerful platform--it is cheap and easy to develop for and is built around developers. It isn't perfect (the chasm in code compatibility between VS and non-VS developers comes to mind), but for a 1.0SP2 environment it kicks butt. There have been three times I've had the most fun programming, and this is one of them (the others were hacking my CoCo II with 6809 machine code and using Turbo Pascal to write TSRs).

Notes, OTOH, is the worst platform I've ever dealt with, bar none. Everything from using the client to writing script is a tribulation of bad documentation, useless help, unfixed bugs, ugly design, a clunky UI, and silly, short-sighted limitations.

More of my rant about Notes' platform is over there, but I just wanted to contrast it with Groove, where at least they make an effort to have a redistributable (in the form of the limited "free as in beer" version), are working on a .NET API, and have overcome some of the most frustrating aspect of Notes (e.g., Domino). Groove hasn't taken off as quickly as I had hoped, but I think it has much more promise than Joel gives it credit for.

Richard Tallent
Saturday, August 31, 2002

Great as usual.

I still consider myself a newbie in this field (after 5 years of work) and it's allways great to hear the perspectives of those that have doing battle longer than you have.

Keep kickin' 'em out!


Saturday, August 31, 2002

Is the ease of .NET development for the CE platform contributing to the collapse of PALM OS?

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, September 2, 2002

"Is the ease of .NET development for the CE platform contributing to the collapse of PALM OS? "

Not yet. The .NET compact framework is not being released officially until this fall. But when you can dev. for Pocket PC and desktop PC using most of the same framework, and do it all within Visual Studio .NET, then it might get even more sticky for Palm.

IMO, the bigger challenge for Palm is successfully negotiating their forthcoming processor switch. That might get really sticky.


Bob Crosley
Tuesday, September 3, 2002

And another example, Smalltalk. Compared to Java, Smalltalk is positively anorexic, runs faster, and takes less code to get there, but it's lost the race. Why? Well, when things where going well, the vendors spent more of their time fighting each other than growing the market (c.f. Unix), and targetting high-value environments such as trading floors where the extra power was worth spending on.

There's a story going round that, before Java, Sun was looking for a development language to include with SunOS. They approached one of the Smalltalk vendors and offered them $X per box. Not enough, thank you for your time.

It could have been Smalltalk, and now it'll be VB.

Steve Freeman
Sunday, September 8, 2002

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