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So there is 'community'

Capitalists go touchy-feely

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One of the strong undercurrents to be heard at the recent JavaOne conference in San Francisco is to be broadly welcomed. It hinged around the use of the word `community’.

The Java community (around which Sun has even built a Process to exploit and formalise it) is just one example as software vendors at last realise that there is a world out there, made up of both existing and potential customers, that do have views on how the technology should best be offered and exploited. Not only do they now recognise it, but they also increasingly seem to realise that said communities often speak more sense than their own internal staff.

This could mean that these companies have at last stopped believing their own PR and marketing bullshit. But even if that is not the case it does suggest that they are shifting away from the traditional, quasi-religious stand-point of `what we are offering is right. If it doesn’t fit your needs then you are at fault’.

If even the most rampant of capitalist vendors now see the sense of building a community – and working with it – then the time is right for all developers to think in such terms. Just think: there could be money in being nice to customers. ®

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