Eric Sink has a great article “Yours, Mine and Ours” in which he discusses different types of software:
“I claim here that there are three categories of software:
- MeWare: The developer creates software. The developer uses it. Nobody else does.
- ThemWare: The developer creates software. Other people use it. The developer does not.
- UsWare: The developer creates software. Other people use it. The developer uses it too.”
Can I add WeWare to that list? I define it as MeWare but for your own development team. This gives it a slightly larger audience – requiring a touch more thought than MeWare in user interface and usability, but not really requiring the robustness or even completeness of true UsWare.
I spend a fair chunk of my time on WeWare – libraries for helping to complete a project rather than actually writing the code that solves the customer’s problem. Of course I do a lot of that too.
We’re still having trouble pushing Meteor Server over the chasm from WeWare to UsWare (from an application-development point of view, at least – there are plenty of installations where we wrote the application). We might have a couple of customers now, but it remains to be seen whether they’re able to run with it themselves.