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Re: Marketing followup

From: Alex Perez
Subject: Re: Marketing followup
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 12:56:11 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 29 Sep 2004, Dennis Leeuw wrote:

> Hi All,
> I have found some marketing people that can help me formulate what the 
> problems are and what we can do about it. In a quick consultation I 
> formulated the following problems:
> - The popularity of the name (not many people know the GNUstep project)

Actually I find that, in my anecdotal experience, quite a few people have 
*heard* the name, but not everyone knows/agrees on what it is.

> - The look and feel (NeXT interface is perceived as outdated)
Personally, I like the current look and feel, but I wonder if the default 
gray should maybe lightened a bit to bring it in line with the default 
grays of other toolkits who will remain nameless to protect the innocent.

> - The programming language: Objective-C is not a well know language

I think here, one of our best points to make is that Objective-C has been 
a standard component of GCC for a very long time now. I also had someone 
point out to me recently that Objective-C must be worse than C++ since 
ObjC is slightly older...anyone with even a few neurons firing in their 
skull will see the fallacy of such an argument, and I must admit that I 
laughed when this individual said such a perposterous thing, but it was 
their view nevertheless.

> - The history (it took a long time to get where we are)

Lots of people tend to bring up this point, and all I can say is "look 
where the project was two years ago".

> I also took the liberty to ask what could be done about the above points.
> History: The reply was to not worry too much about this. When 
> communicating keep telling that the problems were of the past and show 
> the progress that is made in the last couple of years.

> The language: This was perceived as the hardest part. Working with a 
> lanuage that is not familiar to most programmers requires a lot of 
> marketing. The first idea was to create a list that shows the highlights 
> of the language then create documents that tell e.g. a Java programmer 
> how to do things in Objective-C, and also for C programmes, C++ 
> programmers etc. So an article per programming language.
Explaining that it's a simple syntactical addition to C works in our favor 
when discussing it with C programmers, at least.
> The look and feel: The answer quite frankely was: programmers might not 
> care, but as soon as users don't pick the app, because it looks old, 
> programmers don't want to create an app. Even when I told them about the 
> benefits of the interface, they insisted on a new look... well they are 
> marketing people :)

Honestly, I think some minor color-related concessions on the part of the 
GNUstep developers here would go a long way to assuage the concerns of 
those who argue the interface needs a face lift.

> Name popularity: The first idea was to change the name, so it would 
> sound good. I told them that was not an option. Then they suggested the 
> news items for the news sites we are already talking about.

Changing the name at this point in the game would do far more harm than 
good. I don't think anything needs to happen here, and I'd honestly be 
surprised of any other GNUsteppers thought that it would do any good. I 
think it would only be detrimental.

Alex Perez

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