[Pipet Devel] Piper's Importance and Resources

Nile Geisinger nile at dloo.com
Fri Jun 16 10:17:15 EDT 2000

Hey Jeff,

> Well, Brad has been grumbling about the lack of icons for the Pied/Piper user
> interface.  Has Alex worked with alpha transparencies and PNG's before?

Alex has worked with everything.

> Well, we haven't had an all-out campaign yet, and the main reason is that Open
> Source developers HATE "vaporware".  I guess I thought we should have
> something people can actually use so that they don't get too excited over
> nothing.

More than just hate it. Hate anything they can't download NOW. Three weeks out is
hardly vaporware, but some people on GNOME were a little upset that BlueBox wasn't
available the day it was announced!?!? I guess open source companies are the only
ones that can warn people that software is about to be released.

> When Piper started coming together, I became a bit bewildered by other UNIX
> GUI's, old and new.  I realized that Piper actually brought the UNIX paradigm
> (the USER can do complex tasks by connecting simple tools) to the GUI (and
> desktop) and that NO OTHER SYSTEM (that I know of) has ever really attempted
> this.  GNOME, KDE, Enlightenment, NeXT, CDE, and so on, ARE ALL DERIVATIVES OF
> WINDOWS AND THE MAC, meaning no-one has rethought the concept of the GUI since
> the Lisa and Xerox Star!  I just don't understand it.  The concepts behind
> Piper seem rather obvious.

Good ideas always seem obvious in retrospect.

> > Of these, I could easily see a dozen KDE/GNOME people wanting to
> > contribute if they just understood the potential of your work.
> In addition to not wanting to announce vaporware, I thought we needed to
> define Piper's function and implementation before a lot of REAL heavy-weights
> in the community came in and faught over it.....potentially splitting the
> project and/or taking it out of my hands (think bulls in a china shop).  So,
> this has been an incubation period for Piper.

The ASP model is hot. Distributed architecture is hot. Easy interfaces are hot.
Too many ducks are in a row and the fact that two groups already went down a
similar path, probably means that there is a third.

I hope you guys get credit for the ideas in Piper. One always hears that Open
Source only knows how to copy: which is not true. And here, along with FreeVSD,
Freenet, 3dsia, etc., is a clear example of innovation.

> Even during the incubation, source and development have been open.  Piper just

> hasn't been well known.  But, now that it is maturing, I think it can stand
> for some publicity.....and even some fighting over.

Multiple visions for a project are often a good thing too. Shows a broad idea that
several people want to use in a variety of ways: witness all the modules  in
Apache. I suspect, when the open source community does becomes aware of it,
there'll be very little fighting, but lots of unintended ways in which Piper



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