What I was thinking is that if we had some sort of user feedback on
various softwares of a certain class/type and that experential
knowledge could be put in a sort of ever evolving wiki --(which is kept
short and sweet and can be easily grasped by others). We don't have to
think of a flame wars though they will inevitably happen but we could
think in terms of avoiding flame wars by talking about features etc
analytically --it may be an exercise in self restraint and not getting
provoked and some neuro linguistic programming but it can be done. The
problem is we have to start somewhere and not give up just because its
too difficult. (if we haven't tried even, then we have lost the battle
at the conception stage itself ;))
Rating features do not need to be hard and fast. They could be wrongly
thought about initially but could be corrected over time. i would give
importance to the following features/characteristics of a product
1 how good does the development and documentation team look?
2 how long has the product's user's community been active?
3 what are the key strengths of the product's community? can this be
gauged from the website
4 what is the communication/collaboration strength of the community?
1 what features does it have that others also have
2 what features are special or exclusive?
3 how buggy is the product? which key bugs need to be sorted out before
significant adoption by newcomers happen?
4 how fast are important bugs removed? how fast are important features
5 how long ago have they started developing?
6 how is the user interface experience?
7 how is the documentation and mailing list help?
8 do they have plans for a CRM sort of bug list (--e.g. openoffice
problems are got back to very fast-- within a day or so) where people's
concerns are replied to, reasonably soon
9 is there a distinct seperation between developers and a user support
team (help and customer support functions, documentation function,
10 are the developers good communicators or do they get bugged by newbie
and so on and so forth.
These are just ideas at this point in time and maybe some others like
pcquest magazine etc have already started doing such reviews but for
superficial categories of products. We could influence them to talk
about more relevant product categories but pcquest also has a drawback
that their survey process is market driven.
We need to list websites which help do surveys such as
etc etc. i don't know of any open source software sites
which do surveys and allow transparency in the result formation process.
Maybe at the end of the day -- we will have to show how to do all this
rather than just talk. AND THIS is a BIG Project of impartially
evaluating and continuously improving our methodologies of rating KEY
open source application softwares.
PS: I won't be able to respond so much in the coming days but this idea
will remain in the back of my mind and someday may start as a
sustainable activity unless somebody else beats us to it ;). Will keep
reading the responses and may reply once in a while. Thanks for your inputs.
Ramakrishna Reddy wrote:
On 6/16/06, Kush <be_a_sport(a)rogers.com> wrote:
Right now it is easy to always go to sites which provide certain kinds
of application softwares but in the real world people need collaborative
softwares. I think the business world is using propreitary applications
for distributed work and we don't have sites which give any ratings for
such softwares from the open source world.
Rating based on what? Most of the projects start as a hobby to solve
one own need or purpose, when someone who's also in need same kind of
application he would ask the author a copy of it. I think its a bad
idea for an organisation like FSF to act like Gartner, IDG to rate a
piece of free software against another free software, esp the
softwares used for Distributed work, where FOSS applications have a
very higher market share than proprietary equivalents.
I am talking of the virtual private network
applications or CRM or CMS
or wiki type softwares where lay people can really collaborate in an
office or group setting. We have no rating mechanisms to judge which
features are better among a group of softwares. Typically people are
interested in knowing
Wikis are one kind of collaborate software, which has seen much
succes, I can't think of a proprietary product, that has seen a wiki
kind of sucess in the recent times.
1 whether moin moin is better than (and in what
ways) mediawiki or zwiki
etc etc in the field of wiki softwares. (I came across Moin moin
accidentally thru the dapper ubuntu cd which features it in the
Pitching Moin Moin vs Mediawiki or any other piece of software, would
lead just to a flame war. We cant seriously justify why one CMS is
better than another. It all counts down to the user scenario, may be
Rails is cooler than mediawiki, but mediawiki has its own advantages.
whether egroupware is better than other softwares in the same line?
(groupware substitutes for lotus notes etc)
or whether joomla is comparable to drupal or mambo etc etc in features"
or whether openoffice's base application (database) is any good and if
there are alternatives available in the open source world at present
which can take on msaccess? (or a workaround with a mysql application
for ms access)
or how does freegis compare with postgis and maxdb etc gis application
softwares ? (in the gis world of open source software)
or whether ruby on rails will soon outpace python, perl and php in web
based application development? (though perl, php, python each have a
HUGe body of historical strength)
Ruby on Rails replacing python, perl and php in web app development,
This is one of the popular fads floating around, Ruby on rails is
only good for some kinda applications where there is lot hierarchy
involved Esp. MVC , it not good for every kinda web development. So
how do ya rate it against a PHP based web app like Mojavi. and pitch
Rails for world domination ?
Or whether eclipse is better than kdevelop(c++)
or anjuta or bluefish or
boa constructor(python or delphi/pascal) or other IDEs? (when newbies
have to develop open source softwares)
or the merits/demerits of IDE tools which are linked to version control
system tools like cvs or subversion etc etc--which are the best tools in
version control according to various features/parameters
This also would lead to a flame war , BTW Emacs still rocks, -----No
or whether there are better tools than argo UML
propreitary) in the field of application development software in terms
of high level requirements specifications software and automatic
generation of software tools
or what are the strengths vs weaknesses in short form and
dispassionately analysed etc without advertising jargon.
RTFM as people would say, to know what the app is good at.
I don't know any place where such information
can be easily read and
found. and these are the things which really matter for laymen to come
to speed in the adoption of open source software in India.
earlier used to give a maturity rating (development
status) for an application but it does not do so now.
were smart enough to take out rating system based on maturity
Ramakrishna Reddy GPG Key ID:31FF0090
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