Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Social Network Ladder

Where Do you Figure?

Welcome MeeGo

MeeGo is a Linux-based platform that is capable of running on multiple computing devices, including mobile handsets, netbooks, tablets, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems. 

In February this year, Intel and Nokia announced joining their existing open source initiatives (Moblin and Maemo respectively) to form MeeGo project. MeeGo is hosted at the Linux foundation.

Why do I take notice? The following attributes of MeeGo makes it real interesting
  • Aimed at Developers and other OEM manufactures - a proven product placement strategy (ask Android)
  • Lowers complexity for targeting multiple device segments 
  • Enables all players of the industry to participate in the evolution of the software platform and to build their own assets on MeeGo
  • Offers differentiation abilities through user experience customization
  • Offers a compliance program to certify software stacks and application portability
  • Offers a compliance program to certify software stacks and application portability
  • Supports multiple app stores
It's too early to say whether MeeGo can pose serious challenge to Android. Nonetheless it's good enough a platform for IT leaders to take notice.

More on MeeGo:

Any experience on MeeGo? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Which software development methodology is right for you?

Over the past few months, I have interacted with many IT leaders in various agile forums. Irrespective of the process maturity in their respective organizations, I have always seen a pattern in all such discussions, which invariably leads to the question "What software development methodology is right for me?"

If we have interacted, you would know my response already...

To me, this is NOT the most important question you should be asking. Before you call any agile consultant, Kanban specialist or a RUP expert (?!$!), I would recommend you find answers to the following questions

1. What are my business objectives?
2. Does my current software development methodology encourage behavior aligned to my business objectives?
3. If not, can it (existing software development methodology) be optimized to align with my business objectives?
4. If yes, Which practices from other software development methodologies can integrated with my existing methodology?

If not, (Must you change to a new software development methodology)

  • Which behavioral changes you would like to see in your work force?
  • Which software development methodologies encourage such behavior?
Any software development methodology should be looked as a means to an end (achieving your business goals). In my experience, the the most common mistakes IT leaders do, it to incorrectly assume that adoption of a new software methodology is the end in itself. That is a recipe for disaster.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lotus Traveler on Android - Lotus Calendar

In this last post of the series (covering my experiments on lotus traveler software on Android client), I explored the Lotus Calendar application closely.

IBM follows the consistent minimalist design approach (consistent to Lotus Mail on Android) where by default you see the meetings scheduled for today. You would see today's day and the date (default color 'red') just below the Action Bar.

Upon invoking the Options Menu (Menu button on your Android handset) you get the following options
- Option to see events for 1 day, 1 week or 1 month
- Option to Sync the Calendar with the server
- Option to see events planned for today

Upon invoking the more option menu, you get the following choices

- Goto Date - A nice feature to look up your planned events for any specific future date
- New Events - Probably to create new calendar entry, was not available in the current beta release.
That means you can't create meeting invites from Lotus Calendar, but can view all existing calendar events after syncing up with server.

All in all, I was not overly impressed by the user experience. But it works!
All I wish is IBM opens up a few APIs to allow enterprises to do basic customizations as per their needs.

NOTE - Lotus Traveler for Android will NOT be shipped with Lotus Domino 8.5.2. Disappointed with the delay, I am waiting for next beta release.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lotus Traveler on Android - Lotus Mail

Follow-up to my previous blog post, I explored Lotus Traveler on Android client in detail. Here are my findings on Lotus Mail

Folder Options:
  • Provides the following four folder options by default

    • 'Inbox'
    • 'Draft'
    • 'Outbox'
    • 'Sent'
  • Personal folders are not support yet (at least in the current beta)
  • Existing emails in the sent folders are not synchronized by default

  • Displays up to 5 emails (Only!) without having to scroll. Personally I would prefer to see a better use of available real estate 
  • Nice little message icon (highlighted) appears on the Action bar, whenever you have an unread mail. Nice feature to inform you about new mail, even if you are using some other application at the time email arrives
  • What is key here is IBM approaches a minimalistic design and you don't see any menu options upfront. You need to use the 'Menu' of your handset to invoke what we call in android world as the 'Options Menu' 

Available Actions:

By invoking the Options Menu, you get the following actions on the Inbox
  • Compose - (Needless to say) composes a new memo
  • Settings - Opens all application setting (including mail, calendar etc)
  • Show folders
  • Sync Now
  • Search Mail - Queer observation - Search mail, doesn't work unless your mail database is full text indexed (!) - but you don't get any such warnings. Not a high degree of user experience on the search

Other Observations:
  • Attachments of any kind are NOT Supported yet
  • Easy browsing through emails as you get some contextual actions to move to next email or delete the current email
  • Ability to search for names before adding to the sender list
  • IBM has not exposed any APIs to customize the current Lotus Traveler for android. Hence it's a closed package now, take it or leave it

Up Next - My observations on the calender feature of Lotus Traveler for Android