Related link: http://www.turbogears.org/
First of all, let me say that I’ve gotten past the cool demo video and have downloaded TurboGears and am beginning to tinker with it. I have a really small project I’m converting from vanilla CherryPy and SQLObject to TurboGears. I’ll report later on how that goes. Right now, I’m digging into the Kid documentation.
I had a couple of people point out projects similar to TurboGears in a recent blog entry. The two projects they pointed out were Subway and Django. I’ve heard some buzz about these and have even gone to their websites, but haven’t been compelled enough to download them and give them a spin. But I was compelled enough to give TurboGears a spin. Why? I watched the TurboGears video. Man, that sounds so shallow, but it’s the truth. I watched the TurboGears video and was thoroughly impressed.
With Django and Subway, I glanced through the documentation, what they said they could do, thought, “OK - that’s nice”, and just kept right on surfing. I’m not saying that Django or Subway are in any way inferior to TurboGears. They may be vastly superior. But there wasn’t enough in the documentation to capture me and make me interested enough in the projects to download and give them a try. That definitely says more about me than Django or Subway.
I think what TurboGears has done with its marketing is going to get people excited about it, gain it market share, and will help drive its credibility. Credibility? Yes, credibility. I’m not saying that it makes it any better, but when people see with their own eyes how someone can create a wiki in 20 minutes, it will make them believe that it is a capable web framework. It will make them believe that it’s easy to use. It will make them believe that they can make a website with it with less work than an alternative.
I know, all this is mostly psychological and has nothing to do with the goodness of the project. That’s why I feel a little dirty even saying anything about it. But good marketing can be the difference between a project being widely used and a project dwindling into obscurity.
What place should marketing have in open source projects? Can good marketing really make or break a project?