Software Ecosystems Workshop Success

The workshop at ICSR’09 was a lot of fun today. Great presentations, a pleasant keynote, and a short but useful discussion afterwards. Some points:


Facebook vs. Myspace

interesting quote in this article showing the power of (software) ecosystems and a probable reason why facebook is more popular than myspace:

“Whereas MySpace is still a website, Facebook has become an entire eco-system”

Reading: The Power of Product Platforms

I have just finished reading “The Power of Product Platforms” by Meyer and Lehnerd. Interesting quick read. Some remarks in our context:

  • The gentlemen define a product platform as “a set of common components, modules, or parts from which a stream of derivative products can be efficiently created and launched.”
  • Furthermore they speak of product families and (aptly) product family generations, something not uncommon in the software world.
  • Swatch has one of the largest product portfolios, based on just 50 parts. Most competitor’s watches consist of 150 parts or more. The number of parts play a big part in this book.
  • Most examples in the book come from physical products.
  • Platforms should be designed with the following viewpoints in mind: Cost, Complexity, Commonality, Reliability and quality, Dimensions, Flexibility and variability, Modularity, and Simplicity
  • Ownership at every level: a developer team owns the platform, another product or dev team owns the derivative product(s)
  • Chapter 7 is called: Product Family and Platform Concepts for Software: Here come my conclusions
  • There should be more focus on industry standards for interfaces (oh really?)
  • If I get it correctly, the authors mean to say that plug-in products are platforms too. I agree all the way. Even though these products generally function independently as well.
  • Community building aspect is completely ignored. A little bit of a pity.

Overall a fun read, but not necessary literature.

One mobile development language

Mobile sorcery made an application capable of cross mobile platform development. Why choose for Apple or android if you can go for all mobile platforms. An example of a nice player in the mobile development ecosystem.