maandag, januari 29, 2007

How opensource works (NOT!)

Through the weblog of Alfred Essa, i got directed to a blogpost by Joel Spolsky. Joel posted his personal review of a great book (Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg). The book deals with the Chandler project. The Chandler project had been 'advertized' as the Microsoft Exchange killer app. But it didn't even get close up 'till now.
As Joel puts it: "Chandler’s original vision was pretty much just to be “revolutionary.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t code “revolutionary.” I need more details to write code. Whenever the spec describes the product in terms of adjectives (“it will be extremely cool”) rather than specifics (“it will have brushed-aluminum title bars and all the icons will be reflected a little bit, as if placed on a grand piano”) you know you’re in trouble."
Joel really makes the point that software needs to be designed properly, before it should be developed! I couldn't agree more.
I can see some parallels here with the Sakai community. How many designers do we have? The Course Management Working Group does an excellent job at documenting their design process and choices they make, I think. And there will be a lot more than that, ofcourse. But, in other areas within the Sakai community I have a hard time to figure out where the design is to be found.
So, this puts me right on the ground again about what the Sakai community still has to cover. But we will get there! Watch us.

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