This seems like the time the frog realizes he’s being boiled, and resigns himself to being the world’s best frog legs. I don’t believe anyone would look at the overall requirements today and say Wasabi is a good technical solution. Wasabi probably makes a lot more sense in view of the day to day craziness of selling a software product, but technical and business leadership need to balance today’s needs vs. the burden of design debt.
At some point, too, you need to fire the customers that are holding you back. To frame this a different way, let’s look at Windows and Mac. Windows built a large but unruly customer base by supporting everything and preserving backward compatibility. Mac OS’s come out regularly, but support a lot less hardware and haven’t been known for backwards compatibility. True, Microsoft made billions off of their pattern, but the huge weight of trying to please the crowd that wants their ten year old applications to work has contributed to the long delays in shipping Vista. Microsoft has finally become a little more pragmatic about dropping products and technologies (and the associated customers), but they still had to cut a lot of features they’d like to implement because they’re dealing with the legacy of decades of product deadlines.
Now, as a vendor, you need to make a decision on what kind of clients you want to sell to. As long I had enough volume to stay in business, I’d rather sell to Mac-like users than to cranky users who demand that I support ten year old drivers. I prefer developing with Microsoft technology, but if I were a vendor I’d rather sell to customers who don’t make me waste my time due to their poor decisions. There’s a range of workable business models there - in the OS field, and in the bug tracking field. There are plenty of people out there who continue to make a living building in VB, classic ASP, Access 97, etc. As time goes on, sane customers move on to newer technologies, and they’re stuck working for crazy people. It’s hard to write really good software for crazy people.
I’d be interested in seeing the numbers behind the business study that led to supporting classic ASP and PHP4 over ASP.NET and XSP on Mono. How many potential clients said they wouldn’t install .NET a few years ago, but actually have it now as part of a service pack? How many PHP shops might have considered installing Mono if FogBugz just wasn’t available for PHP4? Are there other products which will convert or run ASP.NET code under PHP, the way Mainsoft converts .NET applications to run under J2EE?
I disagree with Chris. I’ve looked at the FogBugz ASP code to customize our installation. If the Wasabi base code looks like this with some whizbang closures bolted on top, I pity the developers who have to work on this stuff. This application easy to hack (in the traditional sense, not the cracker sense), not customize.