Monday, 9 March 2009

Fill in the gaps

So, what's been going on for the last 8 months - I hear you ask.

Well the answer is simple - taking a break from the project!
I've found that stepping back for a while can really help focus
on what's important. So for 6 months I did nothing, not even use
the product.

But don't think for one minute that the project is dead! There
has been a lot of work over the past two months. These could be
categorise into three areas:
  1. Finding and fixing bugs;
  2. Fixing the broken UI;
  3. Adding important missing functionality.

Numbers 2 and 3 are relatively straight forward and generally
limited in scope (as any new functionality is reserved for the
next round of development).

The time consuming part, has been "finding and fixing" and I've
approached it in two ways: UAT & code review.

By UAT, I mean just using the product as an everyday end user.
This can often raise issues that may be glaringly obvious, but a
programmer would not address. It is this which has lead to the
small changes in UI and those 'important missing functionality'.
But it also found some other bugs.

The 'code review', has been the majority of the work. Each line
has been analysed and tested in isolation and together with the
whole product. Revealing some interesting issues, from the
mundane memory leaks to the exotic crashes under some obscure
circumstances.

The aim then? Well simply to bullet proof this version, to give
ourselves a solid foundation to build upon for future
developments, but that's a different blog post. For now, I'm going
to get this release finalised and out. Then drum up some feedback
and see if we can't get some extra resources (reviewers/ testers/
developers/ translators) on board.

I'll post back soon, so check again. Cheers.