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Re: [Gnumed-devel] Re: get something done

From: Hilmar Berger
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Re: get something done
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 09:48:22 +0100 (MET)

On Mon, 28 Nov 2005 21:52:24 +0100
Sebastian Hilbert <address@hidden> wrote:

> > I do not think that GNUmed sucks currently.  But I'm afraid it will suck
> > one day if we continue working as we do currently because the way it is
> > done currently does not scale for a larger project (IMHO).
> Please suggest improvements. Privately if neccessary. Thanks.

What I'm missing most in GnuMed is a proper specification of what we want to
achieve, i.e. project vision, detailed requirements for all planned modules,
design documents (what is/should be done in which way), assignment of work
items etc. 

I am aware of the fact that there is a lot of information distributed in the
mailing list and in pieces in the wiki. Still, if I should point somebody
(say, an informatics student going to do some work for us) to some place
were he can find all I wouldn't know what to say. 

Over the last years I learned that large and complex projects without a
final specification *before* starting to work will either have difficulties
or fail completely. I'm quite convinced that GnuMed is complex enough to
need a specification. I'm sure Karsten knows exactly how he wants to build
GnuMed (as knows Ian, as knows Richard, ...), however, I believe we would be
able to get more collaborators if we could only show a well-thought plan
what milestones we want to achieve next. 

I therefore suggest that at least some energy should be spent in documenting
and discussing our plans for the nearer future.
The specification should probably go into the Wiki, once this is up and
running again.

> My bad, I admit. IT students, course assignments for one semester. 2
> in each group. That's all I know and it's not even certain. 

My limited experience with these students is that they will need tight &
frequent interaction with their project manager, detailed instruction on
what exactly they should try to do and if possible strict checks if they
conform to the design principles of the software they are coding for.
Usually these guys don't have much experience nor in medicine neither in
delivering quality parts for already existing software, so that's something
you must try to enforce by some way. If not, we will end up with a lot of
semi-functional prototypes that might need more work to fix than to write
from scratch.


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