Reopening the justCheckers Project

Made the plunge today into FOSS development again. As I mentioned in my previous post, I considered and started work on the next version of justCheckers. There are a few reasons why I restarted the project. I want to play around with Java web technologies. I also want to experiment with project management and FOSS development, again. And I am emotional attached to the project.

One of the failures of my past involvement with the project, was the assumption that people would be as excited about the project as I was. I assumed that people would flock and essentially build my dream for me. I underestimated the challenge of motivating people and managing progress. Drafting an excellent design, a todo list and increasing communication throughput would result in vast source code contributions. Managing a non-commercial open source project turns out more complicated than that.

The future of justCheckers requires a more nimble approach. That is one of first task is to streamline developing the codebase.

As I mentioned the next version of justCheckers will use Java web technologies. The majority of work for version involves migrating the Swing GUI to JSP. Also I plan to refactor the code to use the Model-View-Controller pattern.

Part of streamlining the development process, includes a serious reduction on other activities. Since I am sole remaining developer, I decided to reflect in reality. My team members no longer contribute to the project. So I removed them from the team. Since I don’t have a team, I am also removing the team mailing lists. I never found the current mailing lists useful. Instead of that, I will come up with a simple way for the community to communicate with the project. It probably won’t be a world writable forum or wiki. I can’t be bothered with cleaning up spam.

I’ll keep you posted.

If you wish to contribute to justCheckers, please leave me a comment.

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The Insanity Returns

If one looks for trouble, one usually finds it. I guess the same applies to work. After a few months, huddled in the sanctity of university studies, I emerge to realize how much work needs my attention. A computer glitch almost killed my graduation. Weeds sprouted on the front yard, where the planned stone and stepping stones will be. My name needed to appear on the convocation list. And I need to get back to a bunch of people’s emails. I could on and on listing things, but that would sound like whining. And I try not to torture my readers with that. Fortunately, I seem to be making progress, in tying up all these loose ends.

As I mentioned in my last post, I resumed working on the justCheckers project. More accurately I resumed planning the future of the justCheckers project. With my disappearance for months at a time, most of the other developers seem to have lost interest. I sometimes wonder if I did not loose interest myself. However I challenged myself to build an open source game.

The challenge now revolves around putting momentum back into the project. justCheckers never had a community clammering for its release. And my designs did not pan out, with the development team being able to work on the project independently of me. For this reason I am working on fleshing out the details of running the project. This means reviewing the style guide, and core component design. My knowledge of Java now spans the entire project, so I should be able to come up with a simpler, cleaner and more efficient design. The most crucial point of the design is get the development team back on-board, and pumping out more releases.