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Acquired Taste

Of course, other models are possible. Consider the acquisition specialist in a public library whose job it is to track community interests and needs along with industry trends and keep the collection growing appropriately. Like the used-book store, the public library is built from components (books) that are already extant, are acquired intact, and are entered into the library without further editing or refinement.

For a model better suited to building a reusable software component library we need to look further back into publishing, to the actual acquisition of works to be published. Series editors and acquisition specialists in the publishing industry play an active role in seeking out and developing new titles, working with authors not only in response to sensed needs or demands, but also to round out the “book list” for more complete coverage and to anticipate future needs. This model, or Page-Jones's idea of the “art patron” who not only acquires but commissions works, may be closer to what the software industry needs.


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