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That’s nice, now what does it *DO*?

So I’m looking for a CRM for a charity I work with, preferably something written in Perl that’s Free Software. I have specific things I need and want such as event organisation and mailing list management of both the paper and electronic form.

I’m once again struck by the number one failing of open source and free software products, I can’t work out what it does! What features does it offer? How will it make my life easier/faster/longer/stronger (delete as appropriate)?

Your project might be the best ‘X’ since the concept was invented, but if you don’t tell me why I should spend my time to download it and install it then I’m going to move on and look at the next one. I don’t want to spend a couple of hours getting something working when it doesn’t offer some basic feature that I absolutely cannot live without, that’s dead time to me.

Please take a moment to look at your project. Compare it to it’s commercial offering (if appropriate). How does it compare by face value? Do you have headline top five and complete feature listings that someone can look over quickly to see if it fits their needs? Does your site focus on the technical detail of the project and provide no higher level information? Do you actually say what your project, Perl module or doodad does in a simple one line summary that your mother could understand?

Seriously. If someone can’t tell these things in five minutes of looking at your site/module, you’ve probably lost them forever. That’s their loss too remember as your doodad is the best ‘X’ ever available!


1 Iain Hubbard { 04.29.10 at 17:23 }

I a sucker for screen shots. If it dosent have screen shots I wont install it. Not much use for a CLI though :)

2 Tim Bunce { 04.29.10 at 22:03 }

Possibly a little dated now but, in case you’ve not seen it, you might find this interesting:

3 Caleb Cushing ( xenoterracide ) { 04.30.10 at 01:53 }

I agree… perl modules really have this problem. Projects (even single modules) should explain who, what, when, where, why, how. in some cases it what be fair to leave what and where off there list.

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