[Grok-dev] Re: What is Grok anyways... time for a name change? :)

Sebastian Ware sebastian at urbantalk.se
Fri May 11 09:09:06 EDT 2007

10 maj 2007 kl. 23.56 skrev Martin Aspeli:

> Hi Sebastian,
>> I'll try to answer all comments in a condensed manner.
>> DISCLAIMER: I don't want to hurt any cavemen's feelings, but it  
>> is  highly competitive out there in the framework jungle... so you  
>> have  to evolve your tools... ;)
> Your comments are extremely constructive, so no-one's feelings are
> getting hurt. :)

Phew... :)

>> I would like to se GROK as the tool of pioneers who know that the   
>> hack I write today might evolve into a mission critical,  
>> enterprise  wide, application tomorrow, and I want to use the  
>> right framework up  front.
> That's a good message, I like that one.
> It's a bit like the marketing of things like JBoss SEAM or even what
> Macromedia tried to do with building Cold Fusion on top of J2EE  
> (ouch +
> ouch = eeewwwww). Gimme the quick-and-easy and let me drill down to  
> the
> solid core when I need it.
> The problem here is that it's almost impossible to make "pure Java"
> terribly agile and easy to get started in, and almost impossible to  
> make
> anything written with Fold Fusion not be an awful hack.
> It's possibly a bit like Rails scaffolding mode, thought that's just
> something that I've heard.
> The hard sell in that message is "don't worry, the transition from  
> quick
> hack to evolved framework will be straightforward and obvious, not a
> painful jerk of the crutch from underneath you".

Maybe this could be one of the pillars of the communication.  
Answering the question: How does Grok make the transition from useful  
hack to enterprise wide adoption easy?

>> The Zope being good/bad for Grok is an easy one. If a developer  
>> has  bias against Zope, they obviously won't use Grok... but if  
>> the buzz  gets hot on a this new framework Grok, which puts a  
>> great twist on  the all new and improved Zope 3, then it will  
>> surely make (a  professional) developer want to evaluate this option.
> I think so. I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't pander to Zope
> negativism. Who cares if people rant about Zope? Point to good  
> examples
> of people being wrong. I think Martijn is the master of such  
> coolheadedness.

Absolutely. Remember, if we don't believe in our own stuff... why  
should others...? :)

>> Regarding my list of names... why do people associate Java with a   
>> programming language... might it be because of SUNs marketing   
>> dollars? ;) I think so... and how about .NET... Remember, these  
>> days  even management will have a say in the matter.
> Of course. To an awful lot of businesses, the choice of platform is  
> "Is
> this a Java or a .NET project?". Then again, we possibly don't compete
> against those languages in the situations where that is the case. But
> there is something of generational shift going on... it used to be
> "Cobol or nothing. Then Java or nothing. Then Java or .NET".

True. So we have to communicate "Plays extremely well with Java  
and .NET"

I think Grok will be pitched against TurboGears/Django/RoR/PHP5 and I  
think we can convince people of the benefits of the Grok route.

> These days, we're slowly getting into a place (and Ruby-on-Rails is
> doing a lot in that department) where more agile, open source, rapid
> tools are becoming acceptable, though you'll always fight an uphill
> battle of convincing people of scalability, security and future  
> support.
> Sometimes, that's rightly so. My client shouldn't have to pay with
> higher risk just because I don't like coding Java as much as I like
> coding Python. They should be presented with arguments about
> time-to-market and flexibility and cost, though.
> And Grok can win there, because Zope has a stable history. It still
> doesn't hold a name-recognition candle to Java or .NET or even Rails,
> but you find old-timers who once heard of it and thought it was cool.
> That's important.
>> My point with the list was that there will always be short-lists  
>> when  people evaluate stuff, and you want to be on that short- 
>> list, and you  want to stand out.
>>     GROK|ZOPE3 -- an enterprise framework made easy
> I want that, but in a diagram and not a name-with-punctuation-in-it.
> Anyway, I think it's some time before Grok ends up in those head-to- 
> head
> comparisons. We should crawl before we walk and walk before we run.
> Right now, we should focus on making the framework good, and being
> honest and enthusiastic about that process. We should sell the  
> messages
> we have, clearly and concisely, not sell hot air that we think  
> someone's
> boss may swallow.
>> Grok, the caveman as a subculture. I am not convinced that he has   
>> (already) become a subculture. Grok the caveman is a metaphor, and  
>> he  just gives me the wrong associations. Nonetheless, as an  
>> ironic comic  strip bashing on the evils in software development,  
>> yeah I think it  could become a really cool thing. As the poster  
>> boy of Grok... he  might actually be a problem. :(
> I disagree that this is a problem. Java has a silly merlin-wizard like
> thing. Linux has a fat penguin. BSD has a devil-looking-thing. Logos
> that are memorable and personable are more important, in my opinion,
> than a "I am really corporate and solid" me-too.

True, but it's an emphasis thing. I think we could use the mascot a  
lot smarter. I am more into the idea of a Dilbert kind of caveman,  
that trumpets amusing situations in software development. And then we  
can say "this is how Grok tackles it...".

I just feel there is a slightly too liberal use of caveman  
references... :)

I'd say, use a cool caveman for viral marketing and a feeling of  
recognition (Dilbert strip style) and to make examples and sample  
applications more fun.

This would be both useful and fun for internal story telling as well.

>> Grok currently communicates that it is aimed at developers who  
>> feel  like cavemen. Only in my book, cavemen do stupid things and   
>> compensate with persistence. For me, PHP would be the tool of  
>> choice  for a caveman.
> I think that's an interesting market research data point. I  
> disagree on a personal level, but this *is* all about feelings and  
> perceptions, so thanks for sharing it.
> It may also depend on how we present the caveman, in what context,  
> and with what text.
> Martin
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