Older blog entries for sohodojo (starting at number 3)

Dacta: Thanks for your comments about Freshmeat and their not accepting 'spec writing' projects. I hear you in terms of the 'many start, few amount to much' dynamic.

But I think that is where the 'human editorial review' process comes into play. Freshmeat should not 'blanket refuse' all projects in the early stages of the development lifecycle. They should take a look at the submission and make a judgement call.

Our 'Spec Writing for Web-based Project Planning' project, for example, is piling up a bunch of useful information which is of interest and utility to Open Source developers. I know this because our project homepage is now the third most active entrypoint into Sohodojo! And the interesting thing is that only about a quarter of those folks come in by way of our 'active project' page at SourceXchange. By far, they arrive by search engine queries which include 'Open Source' and 'project planning' or 'project management'. So we see that there is interest and value in our work.

We'd sure like developers to be able to find us more directly via Freshmeat. Perhaps, they will consider a 'provisional status' for projects in the early stages of the development lifecycle... accepted with a 'produce a tangible result by this date or be dropped' category for specs and such?

Anyway, Dacta, thanks for your comments. Regardless of what Freshmeat does, my minor rant did have the positive effect of bringing in my first cert- votes! I'm inching my way out of Observer status!

Cool, I got my first certification votes last night! I guess some folks resonated with my minor rant about Freshmeat not respecting the early stages of the software development lifecycle.

I was starting to think, "Well, the idea here is cool, but it seems biased toward an 'In Crowd' dynamic..." As I poked around it seemed like if you and your friends 'ganged up' on behalf of each other that you could pile up certs and move out of the nowhereville of Observer status.

Sure, this sounds like 'Sour grapes' from a 'loner'/'outlier'... and well, I guess it is. But then an interesting thing happened this morning when I got some votes from kindly strangers...

Anyone that voted for me last night became a 'Who the Hell is that?' Quest for me this morning. I read their diaries closer than I had read diaries previously. I went to their homepages. I went to their projects. No, I didn't do code reviews. But I poked around enough to get a decent feeling for the person... and then I reciprocated with cert votes for them!

That's when I realized how deceptively constructive Advogato is... I am getting to know about folks that I would not likely come into contact with in my daily routine. It's like a 'neighborhood pub' for Open Source developers as opposed to a 'Certification Guild'. Sure, there is a great need for project-based, post-mortem, public 'trust' (competence) metrics, but there is also a need for this less formal 'buddy system'... it's like a 'Mixer' for the freshmen class, a social environment to meet and greet your peers.

Thanks, Raph, for sharing your sandbox with the rest of us!

P.S. If you want to help spread the word about Advogato, you might consider using the 'Advogato member' gif images I created for use at Sohodojo.

10 Oct 2000 (updated 10 Oct 2000 at 22:25 UTC) »

I am a co-lead developer on a 'Wish List' project funded at SourceXchange (sXc). The project is 'Specification Writing for Web- based Project Planning Software' and it is co-funded by Collab.Net and Opendesk.com. You'll find the sXc 'active project' page here, our Advogato project page here and our project's homepage here at The Open Source Collaboration Technologies Competency Center hosted at Sohodojo.

We are not suggesting that there are not some interesting Open Source offerings in this domain. What is important about this effort is that the sponsors have funded the earliest stages of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) starting with a good foundation look at the problem domain including a 'comparables analysis'.

Since this project is intended to be for the benefit of the Open Source development community, we've been trying to 'spread the word' about our project. As you'll notice on our Advogato project page, we don't have a Freshmeat listing URL. This is because we were denied a listing because our project deliverable is not a 'downloadable piece of software'!?!?

Damn! What a narrow and inappropirate criteria for an index listing. This project will certainly lead to MANY future bits of downloadable software, and at some level, the SRS itself can be considered 'downloadable' (although it is a 'document' rather than a 'piece of software').

I'll fire a note back to Freshmeat making a case for their expanding the index to accommodate the earliest stages of the Software Development Lifecycle. But I don't expect too kindly a response. Too often Open Source projects jump way ahead of the game and folks start slinging code before examining the problem domain, considering what's come before and deciding what to build.

I hope this trend is just 'early adopter' enthusiasm and we'll see an evening out of support and recognition for the all important front-end problem analysis. Having spent twenty-odd years as an 'extreme' Smalltalk developer, I absolutely know that the time you take to 'know your domain' pays off many times over when the code starts flying.

What do you think? (I tried to add a Wiki tag here to allow interaction, but I don't think I know what I am doing!)

30 Sep 2000 (updated 30 Sep 2000 at 19:10 UTC) »
Attention: 'Advogato Member' Images available

Hello Trustees and... the rest of us ;-)

I've spent nearly 20 years as what would today be called an 'extreme' Smalltalk programmer. As I transition from the 'Ivory Tower' of Smalltalk to Internet- based 'scripting' programming, I am learning to deal with flat files for source, "programmer's editors" as a development environment and CVS for version control. How I miss Smalltalk... but how I love the collaborative, open world of Open Source Internet programming.

Trust metrics are essential to my vision for role/actor executable business model frameworks. So I look forward to benefitting from, and contributing to, this most interesting community.

In the meantime, here's something I hope community members will find useful... an small 'Advogato Member' GIF image for use in linking from your site(s) to Advogato. It comes in two 'flavors':

We're using an image tag wrapped with an anchor tag to point to my 'sohodojo' person page. If you want to see how this works in-line, go here and 'view source' for details.

Advogato community members are welcome to use these images to help spread the word about this important community and your involvement in it.

If anyone with home-page article-posting permission reads this diary entry, please feel free to post a link to this entry to help distribute these images throughout the community.

Thank you,

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