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

From: Sebastian Hilbert
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Re: get something done
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 13:14:12 +0100
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Hi Hilmar,

Good starting point for a discussion. If I ever find the time one day I will 
transfer information from here to the Wiki.

BTW. We have no Wiki at the moment. Why. Because we need someone who not only 
install the cuurent version of TWiki but keeps an eye on it. Just throwing it 
at one of my servers would be easy but I am not going to maintian it 
(security updates). So we are stuck.

We have three options I know of right now.
1.) Find a volunteer to install ans maintain it
2.) Move to a TWiki hoster for $5/month
3.) Pay a bunch of students I contacted $700 per year to take care of it

On Wednesday 30 November 2005 09:48, Hilmar Berger wrote:
> 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
> at
> > > 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 miss those specs as well. There are none. Jim did a very good job with our 
Wiki. It didn't look nice but it had a lot of information in it. It's gone 
now. Our manin source of information is gone. How sad is that ?

Karsten rolled up his sleeves and made version 0.1 happen. How. He had the 
guts to define the features for 0.1 and put it in the Wiki. He even had 
maintainers for individual modules in there.

Same needs to happen for version 0.2. No Wiki - no documentation. GNUmed can 
wear you out. I totally understand everyone who follows GNUmed by reading 
about it and chipping in bits of information every now and then but don't 
expect Karsten or me to chip in even more of our money to get the Wiki back 
up. I am not complaining about how many hours Karsten and I spend daily on 
GNUmed because that is our choice. But we are not willing to put in time 
*and* money for the infrastructure. I know Andreas can somewhat relate to 
that when it comes to Debian.  

What can I say. Wiki,Wiki, Wiki.

From my point of view there is no project official vision. I live here and 
now. My day has 24h. I know what you mean. A project needs a vision for other 
people to be attractive. I know what you mean. Endless thinking has been put 
into this by me and Karsten. One day I simply had a choice to make. 

Work on PR, documenting specs, visions, finding potential coders 
make happen what I can make happen today.

I decided to go for the second choice. Look back what has happened since 
then ?
We have (had ) 
- a Wiki , 
- db structure documentation, 
- source documentation, 
- roadmap, public database, 
- packages for Debian, Linux, Windows, 
- Live CD,
- booth at LinuxWorldExpo 
- and not forget a working version 0.1. 

I don't even care what we *could* have achieved had I chosen 1st option.
Regarding your other argments. I would be more than grateful if anyone emailed 
me. Hey you need a project vision. You miss this or that. Let me work on 
that. Where can I start.

Let me look in my inbox ... 

> 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.
Wiki, It's that simple. Everything is in there. It just doesn't exist.
Have him look at it and identify what he/she is missing and work from there. 

> 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.
We have specs. Just no active mainatainers and no active lobbyists. Richard's 
GUI specs have been there for ages but never revised. I mean they represent 
what he knows is best for him but noone took the liberty to follow up the 
endless discussions we had on it and revised thos specs.

What other specs you need ? We don't have any specs before we code individual 
plugins. True. But I am not going to write up specs for GNUmed/Archive 
because this project is so self contained that one person working on it is 
sufficient. If I start writing up missing specs for yet to be defined modules 
who is going to code the GNUmed/Archive. See the catch ? I am not arguing 
against specs. It's just not me who is going to write them. 

We are no company. Show me one successful project which has detailed specs 

> 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.
Don't be disappointed about what I am going to say now. You are wrong. I once 
thought like you. One day I stopped. Right or Wrong. That's what happened. 
There is no magical vision for GNUmed as far as *I know*

For Germany GNUmed will be code plugin by plugin. Order of completion 
depending entirely on what code is there already plus real use cases 
0.1 - structured medical documentation
0.2 - GNUmed Archive - getting paper into digital form
0.3 - lab module - Jim's use case.

See a pattern here ?

For Australia it has been pointed out that GNUmed is all or nothing which is 
not coding to happen with German coders. We will *support* efforts made by 
Australian doctors best we can *but* not more.
> I therefore suggest that at least some energy should be spent in
> documenting and discussing our plans for the nearer future.
I once had that dream as well. Karsten never talked me out of it. But he 
showed me that his way of doing things led to more usable results. I am 
converted. I still have that dream. Maybe I can help *you* start.

> 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
> students
> > 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.
You sum it up. We currently lack the position of this project manager. Thanks 
for spelling it out.
Note: I really enjoy these threads. They help to get the current picture of 
GNUmed across. By no means do I discourage anyone to work on GNUmed. Maybe I 
do unitentionally. I just feel the obligation to counter what I view as 
misperceptions. I challenge you to prove me wrong.

I am always there to answer any call for help if you get started.
version 0.4 could be a working drug database adapter which caters for 
AMIS ,MIMS and drugref. That would benefit quite a few of us. 
Sebastian Hilbert 
Leipzig / Germany
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My OS: Suse Linux. Geek by Nature, Linux by Choice

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