[kwlug-disc] OpenSource Me!

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat Dec 20 19:28:32 EST 2008




--- On Fri, 12/19/08, Bob Jonkman <bjonkman at sobac.com> wrote:

> Very often you can't "know now" until you've gone through at least
> one iteration of a failed implementation.  As you get people using
> your application you'll find out what it is they really want to do
> which they didn't articulate in the first design phase.  Often
> you'll end up coding yourself into a corner, and it becomes a great
> relief to start all over again, knowing now what you would have
> liked to know then.

> Watch out for the creeping feature creature. Start with a clear idea
> of what you want to do, and stick to it.  Once you've coded yourself
> into a corner you can incorporate the new features on V2.0.

Despite my comments about cross-platform compatibility and plugin
availability, I also agree with this. There is always a tension
between getting something that works and getting something that will
meet future needs. You'll probably be happier with something that is
limited in scope but suits your needs really well than with some
gargantuan architecture that is flexible enough to solve any problem
but solves none of them well. (This may be what afflicts Sugar CRM,
maybe). 

At the same time, making design designs that permit future expansion
can be sensible if they don't cost too much extra effort. In
particular, I think that modularity (small kernel with a bunch of
plugins over it) seems to work well as a model for successful open
source projects. 

Do frameworks like Drupal get you any of the way towards what you are
looking for? If so then building modules on top of them may be a good
way to go. 

- Paul




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