[Dev] Status Update Number 9

Pieter Hartsook hartsook at osafoundation.org
Fri Sep 26 12:14:40 PDT 2003

I am writing this Status Update to help out Mitchell Baker who usually 
does them. I tend to write in a more formal style than Mitchell, it's a 
bit more like a newsletter. If you find one style drastically more 
effective than the other, let us know. Gently though, please :-)

Pieter Hartsook - OSAF Marketing Specialist
Status Update Number 9
It's reproduced below. The formatting was created for the wiki, and so 
will look awkward here. If you want to see it formatted go to the wiki at:

Status Update Number 9 – September 25, 2003
Chandler Design and Development
I. Official 0.2 Release – Released September 25, 2003
See the Chandler Wiki page 
http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/DotTwoPurposeSummary for the 
most current information on the purpose for the 0.2 release. (You can 
download the 0.2 release here: 
http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/GettingChandler )

We'll be chatting about this release at our weekly IRC "office hours" on 
Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 11am Pacific time. Check out the IRC ChatSchedule 
for details. http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/ChatSchedule

Our 0.2 release is an architectural release, where we focus on building 
Chandler as a platform before moving the focus to end-user functionality 
and features next year. For more detail see revisions to the
Product Road map 
http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/ProductRoadmap, and
Chandler Time Line 

The 0.2 release was triggered by the clock as opposed to any functional 
or feature milestone.

We want to show that we are making progress at regular intervals even 
though we might not have the loose ends all tidied up. We're not trying 
to make this release look pretty; that will come later.

The 0.2 release of Chandler is still very skeletal in functionality, 
with very few obvious differences to the end-user from the 0.1 release. 
However, there are some major changes in the underlying framework and 
architecture. Our framework is by no means complete, but 0.2 shows a 
solid start on several of our major framework areas. There has been 
significant work in the following that you may want to review:

* Data Model and Repository: The 0.2 release implements a very flexible 
Data Model that allows a full spectrum of data representations, from 
loosely structured to highly structured. Data schemas can be defined in 
and imported from XML( 
http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/DataModelSchemaXML) and 
saved in our Repository. The schemas can be very flexible -- much more 
flexible than the traditional columnar schema of relational databases. 
All of the major Chandler parcels now use the new data model, including 
the repository viewer. http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/DataModel

* Notification Framework: The notification manager provides a publish 
and subscribe mechanism for various parts of Chandler to communicate 
high level events. The ZaoBao parcel 
(http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/AboutZaoBao) offers an 
example of how the notification framework is used to notify the Viewer 
Parcel of updates in an RSS feed. 

* Agent Framework: The Agent Framework is partially implemented in the 
.2 release. The underlying machinery for defining agents that 
automatically respond to conditions as they arise is present, but 
there's no user interface yet. There are two test agents: one that 
automatically approves any Jabber subscription request, and one that 
does something special if a "Professional" Contact with an occupation of 
"Dentist" is created. 

* Chandler Presentation and Interaction Architecture (CPIA): The 
rudimentary beginnings of a novel presentation and interaction framework 
are now in Chandler. See the Document parcel for an example. 

* Improved Code Development Features: In particular we have added 
support for WingIDE and other features to make debugging a parcel 

II. Help Us!
Brian Skinner is maintaining a Help Us! page on the Chandler Wiki. This 
page is for small, self-contained, projects with clear deliverables 
which would help OSAF enormously. 

At the moment, most of these projects are likely to be 
information-gathering exercises. At some point, we expect that we'll 
also have small coding projects. Right now the projects include:

* I18n Input Methods * 
* XSL transform * 
* Repository Viewer* 
* Item Editor Parcel * 
* RDF Parcel * 
* Bugzilla Parcel * 
* Schema Viewer Parcel * 
* Observable Queries Prototype * 

III. Information: new information and updates about Chandler.
Recent new or updated wiki pages of note:

1. Public Events Schedule 

2. CPIA - A detailed document describing the Chandler Presentation and 
Interaction Architecture (CPIA) Formerly known as the document 

3. Stuff of interest regarding 0.2 Code Development Features 

4. How to run Chandler in a 

5. Information about the Repository Viewer parcel - designed to help 
developers debug their data schema and Repository code. 

6. We keep track of where the Chandler system builds or doesn't. 
* The first table describes which platform/compiler combinations can 
build. Each combination (row) is given a "build name" which identifies 
that combination.
* The second table lists which builds run on which platforms.

7. Data Model Stuff - we're beginning to get some traction here...

* Nexus for all the pages that talk about the Chandler data model. 

* info about project management related to the Data Model Project 

* Data Model Developer Guide 

* Data Model FAQ http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/DataModelFAQ

* some background "vision" documents that describe the high level goals 
for Chandler http://wiki.osafoundation.org/bin/view/Main/DataModelVision

* summary of the features we're talking about having in the data model, 
and the open issues we still need to resolve, as of September 2003. 

8. Email stuff

* Listing the absolute bare minimum email features in Chandler 

* Dependencies between email features to figure out which email features 
should go into which release(s). 

9. Daily IRC chat logs from 5/22/2003 to present. 
http://aloha.osafoundation.org/~jbotz/irc-logs/ If you want to 
participate/lurk in real time see: How to join the Chandler IRC channel. 

10. Important Higher Ed IT Projects related to Chandler. 

OSAF Organization
IV. New Staff at OSAF

Building out the OSAF development staff is a high priority right now. We 
plan to add half a dozen engineers in the next three months. Open 
positions are listed on the OSAF website Employment page. 

We are pleased to announce two new staff members who joined us this 
month, Heikki Toivonen - Development Manager and Stuart Parmenter - 
Software Engineer.

Heikki is part of our development management team, with a focus on 
security and external development. His first task is to plan our 
coordination and participation with the wxWindows project. Stuart will 
be focusing on implementing agents and the agent infrastructure.

Miscellaneous activities
V. Chandler Ecosystem
Since one of Chandler's primary features is the sharing of information 
we assume that it will be used in an environment with other applications 
and devices from handhelds to servers. This ecosystem needs to be 
studied to see how Chandler might best interoperate with these 'foreign' 
data sources. We have started a Chandler Ecosystem project to research 
important competitive and collaborative products and how they may impact 
Chandler users and user adoption. The goal of this effort is to help map 
out who the important external parties are and what they can offer to 
Chandler users and Chandler adoption. By understanding existing and 
future alternatives in the marketplace, we can better allocate resources 
by focusing on markets where Chandler is clearly differentiated. 

(Note: For the purposes of this project, we are only concerned with 
external parties -- organizations, products or technologies -- that 
impact Chandler users and user adoption.) Thus, this study should have 
direct input to developing the following key tasks:

1. Partnership strategy leading to policies and template for external 
2. Feature prioritization based on TargetUseCases
3. Competitive Intelligence gathering
* What differentiates Chandler?
* What should Chandler not do (well-served by existing solutions)?
4. How can Chandler create new opportunities and support third parties

VI. Visitors
We occasionally meet with representatives from a variety of institutions 
with whom we feel it would be important to share information about our 
projects. Some of the recent meetings have included:

* uPortal - is an enterprise portal application jointly developed by a 
group of universities and private firms with financial support from the 
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. As a presentation-oriented solution, 
uPortal essentially provides the “front end” for integrating diverse 
applications and content. Among other things, a uPortal-powered Web site 
can provide users with access to lecture notes, news and events 
information, grades, and single-sign-on to other web-based applications 
like email and course registration. 

* HayStack - is an MIT project to make a platform for creating, 
organizing and visualizing personal information. It uses RDF as its 
primary data modeling framework. Haystack allows the user to easily 
manage his or her documents, e-mail messages, appointments, tasks, and 
other information. http://haystack.lcs.mit.edu/index.html

* David Allen - author of the best-selling book, "Getting Things Done: 
the Art of Stress-Free Productivity" (Viking; 2001) and inventor of the 
productivity tool Actioneer's patented software model. 

* wxWindows - is an open-source framework used by Chandler for 
cross-platform development, including GUIs, threads, sockets, database, 
and file system access. The core wxWindows team visited OSAF from Europe 
and spent the day working with the OSAF developers on syncing up 
priority development for wxWindows. http://www.wxwindows.org/

drafted by -- PieterHartsook - 26 Sep 2003

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