Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More communication ...

One of the many things I constantly struggle with is how to better communicate the current state of the littleware dev machine. What is littleware? How can I use it? What are the current development goals? Fortunately Google code is there to host the littleware project site, source code repositories, download bundles, wiki, and issue tracker; but over the last few weeks I've added a few small improvements to my communication effort.

First, I added a "news" section to the frickjack.com home page just to report the latest goings on. I'll get in the habit of throwing the news up on twitter too @catdogboy; although twitterfeed has turned my twitter account into a garbage stream of code commit messages and issue tracker updates.

I also moved littleware's SCRUM documentation over to frickjack.com (it's a Google site). I made that move mainly to integrate littleware's Google calendar , but it cost me some head banging to get the issue tracker gadget working there. The whole SCRUM and calendar thing is pretty aspirational anyway considering I'm the only one that works on the project, but it helps me keep track of which direction I'm moving in.

Finally, I've made littleware's jenkins server available online. Actually, the server is only available when I'm running my laptop at home - beta.frickjack.com maps to my home! Jenkins (formerly known as Hudson) is a great continuous integration server. It was easy to configure jenkins to automatically build and test littleware commits thanks to littleware's IVY build system. It's important to secure jenkins before publishing a server for public access, but that's not hard to do.

I've spent a lot of time the last week on system administration deploying an AWS AMI and tweaking jenkins, and project management updating docs and moving things around on the web sites. I hate wasting time on non-coding stuff like that! This kind of work always reminds me that a software project needs a good combination sysadmin, project-admin, configuration, release, and documentation manager. It's not just all about the coders!

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