On Thu, Aug 16, 2001 at 01:20:23PM +0300, Zeev Suraski wrote:
> I don't usually buy into long term visions, because they
> virtually never work.  Microsoft changed its vision twice in
> the last 5 years, *completely*, from end to end.  Sun (and the
> other Java followers) have also changed their Java vision
> several times during its short lifespan, also, from end to
> end.

Agreed - and so did Perl, which I quoted as a compareable
example, at least to a degree.

But then, that was not entirely my point - of course the vision
changes. I wrote

> >As you can see in the case of Perl, the vision need not be
> >final, useful or even true, it just needs to be cool, and
> >believable. It is being used as a tool to bind the community
> >tigther together, to provide hope and a sense of direction.

and for this such a vision _is_ useful. It provides a frame that
puts all the small actions and progress in a larger frame, and
it provides a reference point so that you can verify the stated
goals of your project against the daily reality. If they no
longer match satisfactorily, you change course (and vision).

The key points are _cool_ and _believeable_ _vision_. Cool in
order to attract the proper audience. Believeable in order to
motivate them, and the vision in order to provide the necessary
sense of direction. The vision may sometimes be farther out than
the actual goal - sometimes you need a longer baseline to align
your ruler more accurately. 

The vision is a marketing tool. It is the ackowledgement that
the current product has shortcomings, but expressed in the most
positive form: "We are working to remedy these, and we hope that
we will be doing this until <x> and we plan to do it in the
following way <y>. We invite you to participiate - if you are up
to the task. We promise you hard work, but also a generally good
time and an interesting experience. And besides, 'It's kind of
fun to do the impossible.' (Walt Disney)."

This is - of course - bullshiting. People like to be
bullshitted, it has to be done nicely, though.

So the question still stands: Where do you see yourself in 3 to
5 years, where do you see PHP? What do you see in the terms
"platform" and "services"?


Kristian Köhntopp, NetUSE AG, Dr.-Hell-Straße, D-24107 Kiel
Tel: +49 431 386 435 00, Fax: +49 431 386 435 99

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