Due to the fact that my blog is hosted on WordPress.com, I am provided with very detailed statistics on which blog posts are more popular, what days they are accessed on etc. Looking at these, a very definite trend has become apparent
While the number of hits received by the Ubuntu blogs remains more or less steady, hits on Dojo blog posts falls dramatically on the weekend.
While this is not an exact measurement by any means, it points to a worrying possibility. People are obviously working with Ubuntu on their spare time, installing it, upgrading, adding applications and window managers etc, and need help doing this. They are personally interested in Ubuntu, not just professionally. This is one of the main reasons for Ubuntu’s success – people are excited and motivated by it. They want to work and play with it on their own time.
This does not seem to be the case for Dojo.
However, for hobbyists, this is not the case. A person might only visit a single page on their website, and a ~200KB overhead for perhaps something simple like a collapsible menu and some fading effects is simply not feasible. I’ve experienced this recently when writing a simple website for myself – all I wanted was some fading/sliding effects, but the huge overhead just wasn’t worth it. And I am a very big supporter of Dojo (I’ve contributed code even – here and here), and use it every day at work.
The Dojo team are working hard on the 0.9 release, which is addressing many of these issues, bringing the base size down to a more manageable size (at time of writing dojo.js is down to 68KB). I look forward to the day when my site statistics change, when Dojo can stand on the shoulders of many thousands of enthusiastic hackers rather than being held up by a few big corporations. I really do.