Joel Spolsky: Platforms

by Volker Weber

I just had the good fortune to read an advance copy of Rick Chapman's excellent new book on stupidity in the software industry. (Prediction: best seller). Being an analytical kind of guy, I look for common themes. One of the biggest themes in software industry failures is a platform vendor that didn't understand that they were a platform vendor, so they alienated their key consituency: the developers.

I keep picking on Groove, but only because there's something interesting in there, one of the few technologies that's interesting enough to care about. Yes, the Groove engineers are architecture astronauts. That's OK. They're building architecture. But they're positioning it like an application and I don't think Groove will be successful if they do that. Someone else will come along with a P2P architecture and sell it like a component, or make it an open source library (yes, I'm aware of JXTA), and that's what software developers will use.

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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