Article on wine development strategy

Scott Ritchie scott at
Fri Apr 17 22:38:46 CDT 2009

Dan Kegel wrote:
> is a fun little look
> at using simulation to see how various strategies
> might affect Wine development.
> The one that worked out best was to pick some random
> user who's almost happy, fix the last few bugs that
> are keeping his apps from working, and then once
> he's happy, move on to the next such user.
> - Dan

Thank you Dan, you reminded me to forward my blog post to the list ;)

Coincidentally, I found an essay by Paul Graham where he says a very 
similar thing:

  Better to make a few users love you than a lot ambivalent.

Ideally you want to make large numbers of users love you, but you can't 
expect to hit that right away. Initially you have to choose between 
satisfying all the needs of a subset of potential users, or satisfying a 
subset of the needs of all potential users. Take the first. It's easier 
to expand userwise than satisfactionwise. And perhaps more importantly, 
it's harder to lie to yourself. If you think you're 85% of the way to a 
great product, how do you know it's not 70%? Or 10%? Whereas it's easy 
to know how many users you have.

There's a lot to learn from the model I made, and it's an easy to modify 
python script that you can just run in the background while doing real 
work.  For instance, you can test a strategy that tries to maximize 
collateral damage (working on bugs that affect the most apps) against a 
strategy that tries to maximize the effect of specific damage (working 
on almost working apps).  It turns out the collateral damage strategy 
isn't very good - you fix a few bugs in a lot of apps, but most will 
remain broken due to some small problem that hardly affects anything else.

Scott Ritchie

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