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Rational Jazz Soon to Eat More of It's Own Dog-food: Transparency

(Originally published on 06 June 2006, but reposted for server move.)

Back at JavaOne, of all places, I got my first look at Jazz. Jazz is IBM’s Eclipse based framework for collaborative software development. The focus is, and will be, on the Agile tooling in Jazz, but really, it’s just a framework for tailoring your own development process. And, I mean, you’ll choose Agile, right? Why would you choose anything else…right?

A More Transparent Process

At the Jazz BoF, Erich Gamma (who needs a blog or at least a URL…?) mentioned that code would start shipping 2 years out, which struck me as tragically ironic for a platform that was going to help Agile development. This morning at the RSDC conference, that struckage was cleared up a bit (this is second hand, via
Darryl Taft; maybe Steve, who’s there has more details):

What IBM intends to do is “invite the broader community to start down this path with us,” he said. “We’re going to launch our view of how collaboration and governance are going to fundamentally change how people think about development.”

IBM is in the process of “starting the conversation” about this, Sabbah said, and will eventually “launch a bunch of code.”

Indeed, he said, “we’re going to be talking code, and we’re going to be establishing, through open source, a way of thinking and talking about it. And we’re going to invite the rest of the community to come and join us.”

I don’t know what this open process will look like, but it sounds interesting. Large companies take time to do good things that involve pushing data beyond the firewall (I know! Crazy!), so I can excuse the “we’re working on it!” part for a little bit. This is, after all, The Age of the Eternal Beta, and we can’t expect all the “decision makers” to be rapid feedback loop nut-jobs.

Selling Process

One of the first questions when the word “open” is used in the same sentence as a company that sells software is, “how are you gonna make cash off that?” I have no idea what the Jazz money strategy is, but my pet piece of advice, as it would be with any framework, is to sell how Jazz is used by selling configuration, servicing, and updates to those instead of the framework itself.

And really, if there’s one thing Rational knows, it’s selling process. Let’s just hope we don’t end up with RUPgile. So far, the signs are excellent. But, a transparent process will at least give the development community the chance to smell it before we step into it, should there be a smelly “it.”

More Info

Hopefully, I’ll get more info on Jazz as it emerges and the kimono opens more. So far, several people have been good at keeping me up to date, and once the conversation is started, as it were, I’m hoping/guessing there’ll be a lot more info. Here’s some more info from demos: Gunnar Wagenknecht at EclipseCon, Ed Burnette at EclipseCon, and Ed Burnette at JavaOne. Bill Higgins, who’s on the Jazz team, does a good job of chronicling Jazz information on his blog.

(Sidenote: for those who abhor using the phrase “eating your own dog food,” might I suggest “eating your own monkey chow”?)

Disclaimer: IBM, Eclipse, and Sun are clients.

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Categories: Agile, Conferences, Programming, Social Software.

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2 Responses

  1. How about using the term Drinking their own Champane.

  2. That one works too.