Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Web 2.0 is for the Right Side of Your Brain

John Newton, Alfresco, has written an interesting posts regarding "Web 2.0".  I find the article interesting because I think Newton does bring up some new ideas or at least something that hasn't been talked about in some time.  Newton has observed that the main audience for those of Web 2.0 appear to be users that tend to think on the right side of your brain.  Newton also takes it one step further by saying perhaps it is time we start taking into account the personality types of users when it comes to CMS development.

This was a real revelation for me. However, I don’t think that John and Caterina shared my excitement. Maybe it’s already bleeding obvious. The next day I did a Google search on “Web 2.0” and right brain and didn’t find a lot. However, for me it is profound and it is something I think that we can apply immediately to the development of Alfresco. I am going to explore the concept more and I believe that there are implications from Myers-Briggs personality types in how they interact with the Internet.

Taking this further, this might also mean why those who are "left brainers" are kind of annoyed with this whole Web 2.0 terminology.  It has been my experience that while the general public still craves Web 2.0 those involved in the project are exhausted of hearing the phrase be used so much these days.  If you know anything about Myers-Briggs personality types you know there may be some truth to why some of the strongest groups that dislike the Web 2.0 concept appear to be the hard core developers.

Drupal Newbies and Contributed Modules

The Newbie Issue

DrupliconI received an interesting e-mail the other day through the contact form at my site regarding the social bookmarking "features" I have for my posts.  The questions asked to me are quite common among new users of any Web content management system.  While the questions in this particular e-mail I received would be more appropriate to be asked and answered in the forums at Drupal.org, there were some things in the message I felt the need to address though my blog.

The first e-mail went like this:

I am new to Drupal publishing, and I noticed your "Bookmark/Search this post with: Delicious Digg Google Yahoo Technorati Icerocket " feature. How did you code that? Or- where could I find out how to do that? I have searched Drupal.org but find it frustrating to search, and searching for modules is so frustrating I gave up. Scrolling through the categories is about the best I could do. I found the Submit to Digg one- but your system seems so much more simple.

The second e-mail though is what caught my attention and depending on interpretation somewhat alarmed me.

Identifying Open Source Winners and Losers

Very interesting article from InformationWeek, How to Tell the Open Source Winners from the Losers.

There are 139,834 open source projects under way on SourceForge, the popular open source hosting site. Five years from now, only a handful of those projects will be remembered for making lasting contributions--most will remain in niches, unnoticed by the rest of the world. For every Linux, Apache, or MySQL, dozens of other open source efforts fizzle out.

That's a dilemma for the many companies that are expanding their use of open source. Corporate developers and other IT professionals must get better at divining the winners and ignoring the losers. The wrong picks can lead companies down a rat hole of support problems and obsolete software.

Not sure if I agree with everything in the article.  For example, the 9-point checklist  of what is required for a successful open source project is surely up for debate.  However, the article is a very good starting point for companies and their IT managers to identify the more successful projects.   According to the article, some of the up-and-comers in open source include Alfresco (CMS), Subversion (version control), and Hyperic (system management).

Taking 'no' one step further

On Planet Drupal, there have been a number of posts lately about the difficulty project leaders and developers have in  saying "no" while working on a project.  As much as Project leaders want to please both their client and their team members, real leaders understand the responsibilities they have in saying "no".  More specifically, I'm talking about Boris Mann's post, "Susan Mernit on the role of "no" in product development" as well as Laura Scott's own post You've got to know when to 'no' them .

This is all interesting to me because for some time I've wanted to talk about Aaron Mentele's post, Every once in a while you need to fire a client.  Aaron Mentele is a web designer and co-owns a web design company based in Sioux Falls, SD.

There comes a time when most project leaders have mastered the the ability to say "no" to certain requests.  But what happens if you find yourself not really saying "yes" to the client?  Do you have it in yourself to recognize that by having to answer "no" so often in a project you likely shouldn't have taken on the project in the first place?  What are you to do?

Recovery Time

I know, I've been a little too quiet on this blog.  I've been busy with my latest project, CMS Report.  It's a site I designed to talk about content management systems and other information systems.  The site has really taken off with about 25 visitors reading my pages at one time.  Sometimes as many as 150 people are visiting at one time.  A lot of geeks out there!  Isn't that great.

Also for those that know and don't know, I'm spending my time this month recovering from surgery. As most of you know, a year ago I started dealing with a problem where the primary nerve for my left arm was being squeezed in my neck near C6/C7 causing pain and weakness in my left arm. The procedure I had was a microdiscetomy and foraminotomy which basically means the neurosurgeon enlarged the window where the nerves for the arm leaves the spine. As intense as it sounds, I'm recovering rather well and needing a lot less pain medication than the doctors expected me to need. With the pain I was dealing with my arm...a cut in the back of my neck is a walk in the park.

Recovery time can range from two weeks to six week. My goal is to be back at work in two weeks though I will be starting my first week with half days. Meanwhile, my "recovery" has been spent so far by watching football, KU Basketball, and watching the wife in the freezing cold snow blowing the drive. The only real exercise the doctor wants me to do is walking...so I've been walking in the gym as Logan and Karen spend time in the swimming pool.