Software Planning Committee 2010

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In 2010, GCD Board Chairman Lionel English established several sub-committees for the purpose of planning the next four to five years of GCD work. This page documents the results of the Software Planning Committee. The committee email archives may be found at the gcd-software-committee Google Group.

Each committee was instructed to organize their thoughts into a set of beliefs, a set of goals derived from those beliefs, a set of plans to implement the goals, and a set of measurements with which to track our execution of those plans.

Committee Members

  • Henry Andrews (Chairman)
  • Will Allred
  • Alexandros Diamantidis
  • Jochen Garcke
  • Phil Rutledge
  • Jason Sacks
  • Lionel English (GCD Board Chairman)

Preliminary Results

RESULTS SUBJECT TO MODIFICATION as the committee has not yet reviewed and refined these. This notice will be removed when the results are final.

Belief: We need an API to allow other sites to integrate with us

Goals? Plan? Measurements?

Belief: We should look at automated or assisted importing of data from other sources

One example mentioned was the Diamond Previews list. This sort of thing was targeted more at cross-checking what we have and need to do rather than a direct import.

Belief: Functions to be performed or used by site visitors are best implemented as part of the primary site

Our old primary site could not be easily extended, leading to several features being implemented separately with third-party software. Much of this can be integrated into the main site without much development / maintenance effort, and is a frequent request of site visitors who are confused by multiple logins and multiple look-and-feels.

Goal: Integrate error reporting into the main site

  • Plan: Use the existing OI workflow for tracking error reports
  • Measurement: Retire the Error Tracker by Summer of 2011

Goal: Integrate documentation with the main site

Much of the documentation on the wiki would be of more use in the form of online help integrated into the main web site. Some of the remaining pages would be best integrated into the site as static pages as they do not benefit from the collaborative nature of the wiki and would be more accessible if they were more tightly integrated.

  • Plan: Determine which areas of the wiki should be moved, and which are best left where they are====
  • Measurement: Audited list of pages by December 2010
  • Plan: Incorporate static pages into the site
  • Measurement: Complete during first half of 2011
  • Plan: Incorporate online help into the site
  • Measurement: Complete by the end of 2011

Belief: We need modern search, and other projects have already written better code than we can produce for this

Goal: Fully integrate an open-source implementation of modern search with our site.

  • Plan: Integrate a Solr search server with our site (technical volunteer recruited at WonderCon 2010).
  • Measurement: Initial integration complete by Summer of 2011
  • Plan: Create a plan for how to search individual fields
  • Measurement: ?Three months after deployment of initial integration?
  • Plan: Create a plan for handling multi-language fields
  • Measurement: ?Six months after deployment of initial integration?
  • Plan: Implement per-field search
  • Measurement: TBD dependent upon delivery of relevant plan
  • Plan: Implement handling of multi-language fields
  • Measurement: TBD dependent upon delivery of relevant plan

Belief: We should have things like browser toolbars and search plugins

Goal: Recruit folks from outside of the main tech team to produce these

  • Plan: ?
  • Measurement: ?

Belief: Mobile app development is best left to 3rd parties

This doesn't mean we should neglect the appearance of our own site on mobile devices, nor that we should discourage app development within the project. But several apps are already released or under development and there's no pressing need for us to move into this space. Therefore no specific goals, etc., need to be stated.