[development] Defining success [WAS: One core, many distributions]

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Fri Nov 25 09:16:46 UTC 2005

I'd throw in a different metric, just for kicks.  An open source project, 
since it doesn't have a money or income issue (at least not directly), is not 
financially driven.  It is driven by need, vis, solving a problem.  It is a 
tool.  No more, no less.

Therefore, the success of a tool is the number of problems (either unique 
problems or number of problem cases) that the tool solves.  A hammer solves 
pretty much just one problem, but it's an extremely common problem and it 
solves it really well, so it's a successful tool.  Drupal can be used to 
solve a large number of different problems, and it's being used in several 
thousand unique problems.

It's not actually the number of people using the tool that determines its 
success, it's the number of problems solved with it; by whom doesn't matter.  
One person solving 1 million problems or a million people solving one problem 
each are both 1 million problems solved, and so its success is 1 million.

On Friday 25 November 2005 02:56 am, Bèr Kessels wrote:
> This is a very interesting issue, IMHO. Sorry for all those bored with this
> thread.
> Op donderdag 24 november 2005 20:55, schreef u:
> > I'm totally not arguing with you btw :).
> No, I got that; I think we agree, but i think this is an interesting
> discussion.
> > >>I undersatnd the attitude that "the only thing that matters are
> > >>contributors", however I would argue that the more users you have, the
> > >>more contributors you will have.
> > >
> > >I already mentioned that users are a route towards new developers, Not
> > > only because the more users you have the bigger the chances are there
> > > is a contributer inbetween, but also because a lot of users spend money
> > > on hiring developers for drupal.
> > >
> > >However, to the project itself, IMO the only thing that really counts,
> > > in the end, is the amount of active contributors. All the rest can be
> > > ignored.
> >
> > isn't what you just said contradictory? What am I missing -
> >
> > Users [help create] new developers [and create] marketplace [which
> > brings] new developers
> >
> > so how can you then turn around and say "...the only thing that really
> > counts, in the end, is that amount of active contributors.."
> >
> > I'm just wondering :).
> No this does not contradict:
> If one runs a company, one can easily say: in the end its all about the
> balance, the money.
> Having clients is cool: But clients that only cost money, or even clients
> that do not bring any money, are nice, yet do not help. in the end,
> A company can then say "The profit is all that matters, in the very end.
> Whether that is genrated by no clients at all, only one client or thousands
> of clients does not matter".
> In the same line we can say: The only thing that we can calculate our value
> off, is the amount of contributors, not the amount of users".
> Hell, we can have a million of users, yet only two developers. In that case
> we have a serious problem :)
> > Also I just had a thought (everybody cover your ears...) Is the project
> > about the developers/contributors or is it about the code.  I wonder...
> >
> > >>I believe that a lot of this conversation is because you have
> > >>new people coming into the arena with their own ideas, aspirations and
> > >>needs.
> > >
> > >Oh, buit this is a good thing, imo. It keeps drupal from rusting.
> >
> > agreed :)

Larry Garfield			AIM: LOLG42
larry at garfieldtech.com		ICQ: 6817012

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of 
exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, 
which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to 
himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession 
of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."  -- Thomas 

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