10 Oct 2000 sohodojo   » (Journeyer)

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!)

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