Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Identity modeller roadmap

If you build it, they will come ... 

That's my mantra at the moment anyway. At times I wonder whether I'll get enough active contribution to this project to make it worth doing open source ... and then I tell myself to shut up, because open source is something I believe in.  Wikinomics, etc.

I have a genuine passion about this project. I guess it's my old production engineer background coming out - I want to fix the process, regardless of the product. In the last year or so I've begun to feel incredibly frustrated by a lot of the work I do, by the sheer pointlessness of it to be honest.  But I still have friends who do OO coding who don't feel able to use UML, or CRC, and I still find I'm having to talk myself into doing it sometimes, and I know that if I had the tool that Identity aims to become I would be a much better coder and technical manager. I know that sharing good code would be easier for starters.

I'm fortunate to be involved in a couple of really, genuinely worthwhile projects - the biggest of which is a training application that runs in AIR. Apart from a really good usable GUI, the AIR-ness means that this app can manage its own updates in a wonderfully smooth way, something which has allowed us to get it out to users much earlier in the process than with a conventional app, where releasing updates might be problematic.  We can get a bug report from the client, engineer a fix and release the new update to all users within hours.

Based on that experience, the Identity modeller roadmap aims to release as early as possible. I'm also a fan of getting the risky bits out of the way as early as you can, so we start up with the data side, and work towards graphics at the end. To begin with it won't be pretty, but it will be working.

I've no idea what the timeframe is, which will depend partly on how many people get involved and how their schedules are playing out. If you want to have input into the big picture, in particular the scope of the model and the way data is saved, speak up now.  Thanks to all those already chipping in on email and chat!

If you're not able to contribute in terms of coding or design but would like to do unit testing or alpha / beta testing I'm already taking names for those ... don't be shy.

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