[Windmill-dev] Direction of the project and plans for 0.4
mikeal at osafoundation.org
Wed Dec 19 00:33:28 PST 2007
I had a couple big emails that replied to the recent thread but I
decided instead to delete them and start fresh.
The project has come a long way, and every time we get over one hurdle
and see some adoption everyone starts clamoring to add new features
and bring in more users and add complexity.
Here is the situation we're in.
- We have limited contributors with limited time.
- We have a couple large holes in our functionality that we all need
- We have a large list of features that we consider for whatever
reason to be "barriers to adoption".
Right now we have a lot of solid functionality, the windmill
controller API is particularly nice and far above what anyone else
currently has in competing products. We can't let that cloud the fact
that we still have a long way to go.
We have a series of half done features and a lot of areas that need re-
factoring in order to increase the long term maintainability of the
project. This is what we need to focus on _now_, because it's
something that is much harder to get done the more we add complexity.
We're seeing some great users coming by, yes they are "tech-savy" but
to be frank, we can't feasibly support people who aren't right now.
These are the kinds of users we should have at this stage, and should
try to appeal to more instead of going after people with less
experience that will require more support.
In all honestly, this project can't sustain the work it will take to
support a large "non-tech-savy" user base. We need to focus on
appealing to more potential contributors, in other words "tech-savy"
people, to make the projects sustainable. For this purpose it's
the JSON format is targeted at non-developers.
Here is what I would like to see for 0.4;
We cannot defer this work. Currently there are zero unit tests
checked in for this, there is zero continuous integration support, and
zero XMLRPC support for this framework. This work has to happen now,
if we're going to have 3 supported authoring paths then they need to
be in and continually supported. I would like Adam to take on portions
of this from mde if at all possible.
2. wxWindmill Alpha for Windows.
There are several caveats. Windows ONLY, we will not produce binaries
for platforms other than windows. We will create the infrastructure to
host and create new builds but we won't be pushing new binary bits for
every bugfix release. And most importantly, wxWindmill will be moved
out of the primary windmill module in to, more or less, it's own
project, in the windmill trunk.
3. Improved XMLRPC Support.
The largest barrier for people creating new language libraries is the
XMLRPC support. It's also made features in windmill hard to develop as
all the tests have moved to being XMLRPC based.
4. IDE UI re-arch.
I've heard Adam grumble about this saying it's in need of some
refactoring. We're adding new stuff all the time and if the
architecture becomes a bottle neck this will be very problematic.
Notice that, other than XMLRPC, none of the external API's are
changing. There are no new features in this list, just solidifying
things we're had for a while. There are no features directly pointed
at end-user adoption. The wxWindmill work is also targetted at
windmill supporting itself more like an importable python module, with
greater facilities for re-use to encourage adoption in other projects/
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