Friday, May 24, 2002

Another agile development methodology, to compare with crystal, is known as scrum, there's also a scrum weblog

Some game-related stuff that may be of interest - there's an exhibition on all summer at the Barbican in London called Game On all about games - and there's a collection of digital films coming to Cambridge soon called OneDotZero

I thought I already had a link to Jim Coplien's work on this blog, but obviously not. There's also his academic website, an in particular his collection of organisational and process patterns.

Currently, the thing that's irritating me most about switching jobs is that I have carefully maintained an archive of all my old email messages (apart from the spam) going back over several years - obviously there's a mixture of personal and business communication in there - but there's no convenient way to archive it so I can take it with me when I go.
The other problem is that I have subscribed to various mailing lists over the years, but I'm having trouble unsubscribing from some of them - because my email address has changed. We have various mail alising mechanisms in place so the old email is redirected to my current address, but it's a bother trying to fiddle the 'from' address just to send an unsubscribe request to a robot.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

UseModWiki is supposed to be very easy to set up.

Friday, May 17, 2002

The leading software to process digital photos of whiteboards for including in technical documenation is 'Whiteboard Photo' - see www.pixid.com
Here's a real-world example, with before and after images, processed using the trial version of the program.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Since last Thursday's interview, I have been thinking about what's involved in creating a good computer game - mainly issues of story structure. There are a couple of excellent websites related to the work of Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces: The Hero's Journey and The Joseph Campbell Foundation - another excellent site on film plotting is The Nine-Act Structure by Dave Siegal.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Following up on the idea of agile development, the Crystal methodologies, such as Crystal Clear look particularly interesting.
"Software development is a cooperative game, in which people use markers and props to inform, remind and inspire themselves and each other in getting to the next move in the game. The endpoint of the game is an operating software system; the residue of the game is a set of markers to inform and assist the players of the next game. The next game is the alteration or replacement of the system, or creation of a neighboring system."
The essentials of Crystal Clear are:
  1. Sit together, talk together, draw on whiteboards, look over each others' shoulders at your programs and tests.
  2. Deliver updates regularly, no longer than 3 months apart. Schedule and track the project by milestones.
  3. Have a real user reviewing the project regularly.
  4. Have a project mission statement, usage-based requirements, and a description of the system design.
  5. Have a clear ownership model: For each class or module etc, you know who it is that can change, update or, most importantly, delete parts of it.
  6. Use regression testing. Do some form of peer code reviewing.