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Archive for November, 2004

Open Source Project Management Insights

Posted by Mike on 22nd November 2004

I just read an article on Groklaw about Andrew Morton’s Speaker Notes from SDForum. You can go to Groklaw to read all of it.

Here are some excerpts that I think are related to successful projects. (If you like them, read the whole article, as these are taken out of context.)

a huge project is really an agglomeration of thousands of small projects

With the success of the Linux Kernel, you can hardly argue with this approach. The better you break down the huge projects into manageable projects, the better your chances are for success.

I dislike private design discussions because it cuts people out of the loop, reduces the opportunity for others to correct mistakes and you just end up repeating yourself when the end product of the discussion comes out.

It seems like so much work to involve everyone in design discussions, but it is critical to the process of having a quality product. The more eyes you have, the better your chances that mistakes will be caught early. Also, with better participation in design, the more your team will understand the what and why of the work.

Contributors send their code submissions as source code patches to the relevant mailing lists for review and testing by other developers. The review process is very important.

This open source project places a high value on code reviews. The Linux Kernel is a very large project, but I think you would benefit from code reviews even in small projects. It is too easy to be blind to your own mistakes.

The preferred form of bug reports from testers is an email to the relevant mailing list. We go through a diagnosis and resolution process on the public list, hopefully resulting in a fix.

We do have a formal web-based kernel bug reporting system, using bugzilla. But the bugzilla process is one-to-one rather than many-to-many and ends up being much less effective because of this.

Once again, we see a public process. Here it is concerned with bug fixes. Project communication needs to be team communication. If you leave team members out of the loop, you just might miss out on the best solution. Also, how will your team grow, develop and understand, without seeing the issues and contributing to solutions?

The above quotes from Andrew Morton contain very practical advice for project managers. I can sum it up in a short statement. Communicate openly on the team, in a public manner.

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Comment Spam

Posted by Mike on 12th November 2004

This is an interesting experience that I am now having with WordPress, the I didn’t have with XOOPS. That is, comment spam. The online casino spammers are pretty quick on the trigger. What a mess! Thankfully, I caught it quickly and strengthened my settings. I’ll see how this works!

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I saw this at the dentist.

Posted by Mike on 12th November 2004

Yesterday, we had round two at the dentist. Round one included my wife and two sons. Round two included my three daughters and myself. The dentist can be a stressful place. I do try to relax when I am there. This time, I noticed a change. Above the chair, in the ceiling, is an advertisement. I’m sorry, but that it too much. I closed my eyes and tried to ignore it. Her teeth can’t be that white can they? No, it must be a photo-manipulation.

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The Big Switch!

Posted by Mike on 10th November 2004

With this post, I am starting the third iteration of mikesmind.com. My first iteration was a simple website, authored in HTML. The second iteration was a nice site using XOOPS as the platform. While I was happy with XOOPS, I started to get interested in WordPress. This brings me to the third iteration.

With the switch to WordPress, I have also changed hosting companies. As part of the transition, I will be setting up the old mikesmind.com XOOPS site at the new host. Once that is setup, I will put a link up on the new mikesmind.com to the old content.

I’m looking forward to learning WordPress and making this into a better website than before. It’s so much fun! I can’t wait to do more.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »