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Re: [Auth]Simplest design 1 last time (I promise :-)

From: Jeremy Petzold
Subject: Re: [Auth]Simplest design 1 last time (I promise :-)
Date: 17 Jul 2001 12:40:26 -0700


I would just like to say that what you just said is very profound. I hope that 
it will bring the people down that think tech superiority from the get-go is a 
formula for success. **applause**

On Tue, 17 July 2001, Ron Burk wrote:

> > > b) The security-lock-down issue. By this I mean all the computers (eg net
> > > cafes, Universities, libraries, corporate environments) that don't let you
> > > install plugins and/or don't have floppy drives
> >
> >I think that Ron's proposal was to deliberately make the
> >decision to not address this issue in the first version.
> True -- the simplest design that could possibly work goes
> after the 80%, not the 20%.
> a) Most users are not using locked-down computers.
> b) Plugins that many web-page flunkies support get installed
>      on most locked-down computers (I can't recall ever seeing
>      a locked-down computer that does not have the huge and
>      odiferous Adobe PDF plugin installed :-).
> > > Who's going to write (and test and build) the plugins for all those
> > > platforms? I mean, Flash isn't supported on half of them, and you think we
> > > can get "significant maerketshare quickly."?
> Hmmm. If you really think writing code that works with
> 80% of the browsers in use is more than a tiny fraction
> of the total work contemplated for the dotGNU project
> (CLR, distributed authorization, high availability, etc.),
> then I'm just living on a different planet than you :-).
> Also, I would like to reiterate that the key to getting clients
> to use *any* form or version of dotGNU is to make it dead
> easy for web page flunkies to adopt it with the absolute
> smallest amount of work. The dotGNU project has no
> levers for directly picking up a few million clients at a time
> (unlike Microsoft). You do, however, have a reasonable
> shot at enlisting web page flunkies. If you get lots of web
> sites offering dotGNU support, you have a good shot
> at getting the clients. There are also opportunities for
> giving web page sites branding/customization options
> with a plugin, which greatly increases their incentive
> to ask their own customers to use it.
> I have no great fondness for plugins (and I can happily
> agree that they should not be required for the more
> complex features that dotGNU will eventually support).
> But I have not seen any other design mentioned that
> I believe has the same shot at quick market penetration.
> I have 5 web servers running a few feet away,
> both Windows and Linux-based and *none* of them are
> LAMP. Handing me PHP code is a waste of both my
> time and yours if you're trying to sign me up for your
> system. I would not support anybody's single logon system
> on my computers unless it was just a matter of tweaking
> some data files associated with URLs. Assuming that
> the world is LAMP seems ironically equivalent to
> Microsoft's assumption that the world is IIS and Windows.
> There are a whooooole lot of IIS systems out there,
> and a lot of web page designers who can't install
> software or write code.
> There are many other energy barriers for people who
> manage web sites. One can blithely say "and the web
> server will connect to the dotGNU server", but that
> ignores the realities of the majority of corporate web
> sites (and there are a whole lot of those). What is my
> legal relationship with the "dotGNU server"? Will my
> boss really let me introduce a scheme that breaks
> when some third-party computer goes down? Or,
> how enthusiastic will my boss be about me setting
> up my own "dotGNU server", when Passport is
> already working just fine? My guess is that
> this is a real hard sell, and not something
> that could possibly achieve market penetration that
> competes with Passport in less than 4-6 years,
> which gives Microsoft an awful lot of time
> to react.
> > > > But for programs which are used on many computers by many
> > > > different people, there we have the advantage, because a
> > > > significant percentage of the users help with making the program
> > > > better - that's a power that Microsoft doesn't have.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Show me a single example of an end user (non developer) open source 
> > > product
> > > where the users have helped with development.
> When you make a chart of customers/suppliers,
> competitors/allies for something like dotGNU, web page
> flunkies  are a very important part of the "customer"
> group. Presumably, you would agree that those "users"
> contributed greatly to the success of projects like
> Apache.
> >I feel that what we need right now is proposals from people who
> >are also capable of leading the process of implementing their
> >proposal, and willing to do so.  I believe this is the case with
> >Ron (am I right about this, Ron?) and on top of the fact that
> >what he says makes sense IMHO, that is another reason why I am
> >supporting his proposal.
> I doubt I can lead the process, but I do want to see if the
> idea can succeed. I suspect at this point that it cannot
> garner enough support in this group to go forward (doesn't
> need a lot, but it does need enough expertise to cover
> crypto, cross-browser development, talking to W3C,
> and it definitely needs the "dotGNU brand" to be worth doing).
> That could be because it simply isn't a good enough idea, in
> which case it deserves to die. Alternatively, it could be
> that it's really an idea based on existing customer needs
> and market forces -- not the sort of forces that typically
> drive any open source development (but definitely important
> if there's to be any hope of competing with .NET).
> Just to restate one more time: the simplest possible
> design is not a replacement for the "real" dotGNU.
> It is a way for dotGNU to have an important presence
> with web developers and end users *much* sooner
> than the "real" dotGNU could ever hope to. It leads
> the way, and it is so simple that it would be difficult
> for it to be significantly incompatible with the "real"
> dotGNU, no matter what architecture it arrives at.
> To be honest, it is simply the technique that Microsoft
> has used for years to crush competitors: you build
> the "good enough" solution as fast as you can,
> get it installed as widely as possible, and then
> continually improve and enhance and PR until
> your product's name is synonymous with the
> market it's competing in. If you want to arrive
> second to a market and displace Microsoft,
> you better make technology take a back seat
> to marketing, strategy, and serving customer
> needs. Just like Microsoft, I don't really care
> if "dotGNU v2.0" is technologically so different
> than "dotGNU v1.0" that they are essentially
> unrelated. If v1.0 gets the market share and
> mindshare that makes it easier to sell v2.0,
> then it's done it's job admirably.
> Just to show that this is not really about technology,
> some folks have mentioned existing "form filler"
> products that offer a single logon solution. Those
> are indeed simpler, in the sense that they don't
> require the web site to actively participate.
>  From a technological viewpoint, they are "better".
> But this is about marketing and customer needs,
> not technology. Requiring minimal participation
> from the web site developer both makes the
> customer experience better (no half-ass "AI" or forcing
> the customer to tell the program about the logon
> form at each new web site), and gives marketing
> a major leg up -- you've effectively enlisted the
> web site to help market your brand name and
> your product. Nothing to do with technology,
> but everything to do with marketing (and making
> sure that dotGNU makes a much bigger splash
> than the typical form-filler app).
> Other people believe other dotGNU designs are also simple
> and can be sold as easily. I differ with that viewpoint.
> You can't sell PHP to folks who use FrontPage and
> IIS. You can't quickly sell usage of an intermediate server
> to people who have corporate/legal guidelines for
> web page development. You can't sell solutions that
> require "only a little coding" to people who create
> web pages, but don't know how to write code. The
> end users will use what the web sites they are using
> (or Microsoft or one of its minions, such as MSN)
> push them to use. The web sites will use whatever
> makes their life easier. Many web page flunkies
> who cannot use Passport will be happy to support
> an alternative that requires only slight tweaking of
> their existing web pages (and absolutely no
> programming or software installation). The web
> page flunkies who can't install software or write
> code are key to achieving exponential growth
> and paving the way for adoption of more
> compex systems.
> But that's just me -- I could be wrong :-).
> Ron Burk
> Windows Developer's Journal,
> _______________________________________________
> Auth mailing list
> address@hidden


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