Tuesday, 3 June 2008

What if Sam releases Saffron?

I've been asked the question "What happens to Identity if Sam releases Saffron?" a couple of times recently, so I thought it might be a good idea to address it here, as I'm sure more people are wondering it.

The answer is that I don't know (mostly because it won't be up to me). At the moment Sam's website continues to be offline, and all anybody 'knows' about Saffron UML is based on a handful of screenshots and whole bunch of rumours.

If Sam does release Saffron and it turns out to be as good a tool as people are anticipating then either Identity will cease to be something that is worth developing, and we'll just get on with using Saffron (and be glad about it!) or Identity will still look like it delivers something sufficiently different from Saffron to continue working on it. We may even use Saffron for later stages of development, and/or perhaps refactor some of the Identity features to work as Saffron plugins. In any case, the best feature of open source development is the fact that it won't be my decision. If anybody sees value in continuing development then they can go right ahead and do that!

In using the PureMVC framework we're aiming to create some of the functionality we're going to need as add-ons to the framework which should also have use in other projects. We're going to need a set of lightweight components too, and we'll either be using existing open-source code or developing our own for those - which will also continue to have value regardless of what happens with Identity.

I'm personally building Identity because I really want to use it! As someone who used to be a manufacturing engineer I'm also really interested in production processes, and I'm excited about the solutions that we might develop in delivering truly integrated planning / modeling / documentation / stub-code. I've got no urge to be a big name in the flash community, though if Identity does come to fruition I quite fancy the idea of writing a book about joined up processes in AS3. Or something. Probably AS4 by then ;)

Oddly I'm using CRC and UML to structure the book I'm writing at the moment about Global Climate Change. My chapters are like objects, having responsibilities, collaborations, methods and properties. One of the things that I dream about for Identity is the ability to plug-in alternative tools for organising our thinking. Stuff that hasn't been dreamt up yet ...


Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, Saffron is pure snake oil. Saffron = Screenshots. Period.

Stray said...

Thanks anon ... yeah, you're not the first person to express that opinion! I really, really hope it isn't, because I don't know what kind of effect that would have on the flash community in terms of all the people who've been inspired by seeing Sam talk at flash conferences etc.

Do you think there's a rigorous pre-invite screening process for that stuff? Like, could I just claim to be developing Identity and do a bunch of talks on it without actually showing anyone any of it running? Or do the event organisers do a bit of background checking?

I'm intrigued anyway. I know plenty of my clients have had the "it'll be ready tomorrow / next week ... soon - honest!" experience working with me on projects where the 'finishing off' takes forever and a day, but a year or more of the alpha coming out "this week ... tomorrow ... tonight ... later today" etc seems a bit odd.

Anyway - just to keep you posted here, Identity kicks off properly 1st July. From then I'll be personally timetabling development time for it, and the objective is still to be at alpha by xmas.

We are going to make all stage unit tests public. Apart from needing to build people's confidence we can only gain from problems being discovered as early as possible!


Thomas said...
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jai said...

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IDE Flash