Explicit process examples 22:57 on Thursday

Explicit processes for software are something I’ve been interested in for awhile. It doesn’t necessarily say much as it is a term I invented myself. ;) Let me try and explain a little.

Dopplr is an intriguing (but unfortunately invite-only) travel service, which lets you view your friends’ travels and get alerts when your trips coincide with your friends’. You can ask anyone to be your contact, but they decide to allow you to see their travels. An open system, and a fine one at that. But I think the site could do even better by encouraging people to only link with those contacts they would actually go and meet if they happened to be in the same city, making it explicitly about setting up these semi-random encounters with friends. Now Dopplr is that, and a way to collect the most impressive list of travelers, and a way to spy on contacts you like to keep on your list but don’t really know that well.

I also suggested that a restaurant guide site treat users as critics instead of commenters. By subtly but consistently emphasizing the comments as food critic reviews rather than quick remarks about a restaurant, the quality of reviews could go up. Who knows, there might even be new underground star critics with a loyal following of, like, ten people! That’s what I believe, anyway.

One more: instead of building an online web 2.0 outliner application or a simple spreadsheet, why not build an outliner created only and specifically for calculating project estimates? Yes, you can do that on EditGrid. Yes, you can do that with OmniOutliner. But it requires you to bend the general outliner or spreadsheet concept to do the job of project estimation, and the quality of the resulting tool is based on your skill in using and adapting the general tool to a specific use.

3 Responses to “Explicit process examples”


  1. Sunjay Says:

    Niko, EditGrid looks very interesting, indeed! re: project estimation, We’ve devised a web2.0 application that focuses directly on custom software application development. Its called Planix. Would welcome your thoughts.

  2. Niko Says:

    Having glanced over Planix quickly, it looks like you’re thinking very much in the way I’m trying to outline above: users can’t just take Planix and do whatever estimates they want in whatever way, but they have to take the process that comes with Planix and agree to work with that. If they don’t, well, there’s probably another web2.0 startup doing something for them.

    But I’m really excited to see that you seem to be thinking along the same lines I am — to me it validates that there might be something behind that way of doing things. ;)

    (Regarding actually using Planix myself, I’m not sure how well it would integrate with my ActionScripting projects. But I’ll give it a try!)

  3. Sunjay Says:

    Niko, yep. You are correct. We try to help “box up” a best practice/process based estimation approach. We’ve found it very useful and accurate over the past five years as its a modernized version of many of the best practices/research provided for by COCOMO, function points, use case points, etc … Cheers, Sunjay