Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look back on "prioritizing Open Source projects" (from May 2010)

It has been more than 4 months since I wrote about my experiences with priorization for Open Source projects, it seems like good time to see how things have been moving.

Looks like there are two ways to look at things -- whether glass is half full or half empty -- as I have pretty much completed 50% of tasks; but not necessarily in order of priority. And this even thought I publicly outlined priorities.

One positive thing is that the top entry (Java UUID Generator 3.) was just completed; and the second entry (Woodstox 4.1) is nicely in progress, to be completed within a month or two. On the other hand, other two completed tasks (both related to Jackson 1.6 that was completed a month ago) were entries listed as having the lowest priority. Some entries not on the list were also completed; specifically work with Async HTTP Client and OAuth signature calculation.

I guess I think this is reasonable outcome, as priority lists for my "hobby" development are there to help and assist, not to drive to specific business goals or to rein in my creativity. So even more important than getting things done in "right order" is that things do get done. So as long as more important or more urgent things are more likely to get worked on than less important or urgent things, overall efficiency remains brutally high, which is the way I like it. Finally, part of the reason for fluctuating order of execution is due to some tasks being more interesting than others; and working on "most interesting" things tends to maximize amount of progress (in contrasts to working on less interesting but more highly prioritized things).

But to get some closure on this entry, let's consider this a completed 4-month Scrum and create an updated priority list. Here's what it might look like:

  1. Complete Woodstox 4.1 (XML Schema, other user requested features) -- carry-over from the original list
  2. Aalto 1.0: finalize async API, implementation
  3. Jackson 1.7: focus on extensibility (module registration, contextual serializers)
  4. ClassMate (1.0?) -- library for fully resolving generic types; based on Jackson code
  5. External version of Mr Bean (from Jackson 1.6)
  6. StaxMate 2.1? (from the original list)
  7. Tr13 1.0? (from the original list)
  8. ... and then re-consider

This is an incomplete list and I expect roughly similar completion rate if I was to look back again in 4 months. Maybe I should start doing quarterly project reviews just for fun. :-)

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