Sunday, February 22, 2009

IT centric projects likely to fail

during the last two years many projects around trends like "social networking" / Web 2.0 comes to IT departments. the IT guys reading stories from well known vendors like Microsoft that collaboration and information sharing is one of the most important trends for next years.

they take this input and run to their sponsors (business departments) and ask them if they have trouble maintaining information around in their daily business and surprise, surprise they received a "yes we have problems".


most of todays problems are caused by incufficient information lifecycle. the core buisness assets are more or less maintained by information supporting and guiding the core buisness assets are still not really under control. project teams are not able to share a common view of project / work related information, information get lost from one human interfact to the next. supporting documents are not findable even if they exist somewhere.....

IT trys to fix this

they hire few consultants train them installing the product of interests providing wiki, blog, chat, document managment functionality. if they are smart enough they ask the buisness department for their requirements and now they try to setup a pilot using their product of choice.

great everything works after few days of departments start to use the good new world....solution gets adapted and released.....

one year later looking back and surprise, surprise the problems still the same just in another layout.

this story happens several times during the last year. Look at the most MS Sharepoint related projects out their -- most of them a great experience for the IT / consultants and developers but few or zero benefit for the business.


its simple and everybody knows the answer. IT systems doesn't solve a problem and on the other hand are not the cause of the problem. the problem is caused and must be solved within the business process itself. IT systems can only provide sufficient support for certain steps in the process if the process and connected process itself is healthy.


if business people claim they always faced with outdated information the cause is manifold. there might be no process to update the corresponding information at a certain step in the process. there might be no time to update the known information source, there might be no information which are the relevant information source for other people in the team, there might be redundant information source and the wrong one is used.......

sounds trivial and obvious but....
why we still faced with IT centric projects?

  • IT people are happy to develop new solutions
  • business people are happy to find someone guilty for existing problems.
  • IT people don't like to identify the real cause they are mainly focus on the solution.
  • business people cannot image what a certain IT solution mean for their daily business.
  • IT people don't understand the CAUSE they only understand the PROBLEM itself (expressed in "requirements")

and therefore both parties believe they solve a existing problem but they simple implement a solution to decant the problem into another IT solution.


never try to solve a existing problem related to information management never introduce a IT solution first. enforce the business to solve and describe their problems using the existing tool chain and try to identify the CAUSE of the problem. if this is done and works successful the areas a IT solution can support is easy to identify and now its much easier to identify which IT solutions is the right one to choose....


i don't say that the mentioned product MS Sharepoint is good or bad but it is a product IT tend to play with and therefore a good example many working people faced with....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

classified as INTJ

stumbled over Typelyzer which tries to define Myers Briggs Type Indicator. i immediate tried it out using my own blog

viola: this blog is classified as INTJ

does this fit? well, it at least fits to the content of my blog.

how does it work?

they using free engine for text classification based on content similarity. they trained their classification with many reference material created by persons known and classified as one of the different types.

to identify psychological preferences based on blog entries is another great experiment to use available information and draw conclusions.

Monday, February 16, 2009

maps in svg

if you search for maps in svg you can have a look at blank maps from wikipedia:

svg is pretty smart if you require automatic creation of dynamic content like charts and visual reports based on dynamic data.

by the way svg standard has still many limitation in terms of interoperability and tool support. but in case svg cannot be published as-is Apache Batik is there to transform the svg source into format you require (pdf, eps, png, tif).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

RDF support using yahoo's BOSS

yahoo added rdf/microformat support to their public search api called BOSS.
to understand how it works read

this makes semantic sources if available usable in searches and therefore BOSS might be one real alternative to what the bg (big google) provides......

change is todays baseline

stumbled over the following short video sequence which shows the pace of change

hold on and pay attention. thanks to

for pointing me to this link.

open source search engine: apache lucense & solr

Apache Lucene is one of the most interesting search api's in open source marketplace. it provides a powerful and pluggable interface to provide full test feature set to many java based application.
but Lucene is "only" an api not an application.

Apache Solr is on the other hand is an enterprise search server based on Apache Lucene. the feature set behind that solution is worth to look at, means Solr introducing features some commercial systems still missing. for example using standard enterprise search provided by MS within their Sharepoint product you wonder how less features are available there.....(maybe adding FAST into next generation of Sharepoint change that but thats another story),

since few month professional services for the mentioned open source products can be used from Lucid Imagination. providing support and integration work for open source products makes the usage for the products more useful for the enterprise.

if you have to provide advance "full text" feature double check the open source community before you invest in commercial variations....

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Generate DITA Java API reference documentation using DITADoclet and DITA API specialization

one example to show a step to close the gap between developers who creating the artifacts and outgoing and enriched documentation created from their source without the need of additional redundancy.
it is not too far away from approach introduced by javadoc / doxygen beside the datamodel used behind this approach has much more value for additional information integration as provided by the classical approach.

not all yet done by the "out-of-the box" solution provided here:
but you can imagine the possibilities using this kind of approach:
  • integration of additional information provided by marketing or tech-doc groups or service groups without any media break in information usage
  • usage of other deployment processes for api documentation available within companies infrastructure
  • .....

improve your full text search experience

Cloudlet a free firefox extension improves your google search experience and provide "cloud" based access to additional keywords might help your to access the relevant information faster. there is no magic behind that (and the results are not perfect in all cases) just using the information provided by google itself.....full text search as its best.

link: Project Euler

this project
Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.

The motivation for starting Project Euler, and its continuation, is to provide a platform for the inquiring mind to delve into unfamiliar areas and learn new concepts in a fun and recreational context.

is out there for a while but i just stumbled over it. check it out.....