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  • Call for Action: Let's develop GTD software

    I've seen a lot of frustration with current software used for GTD and many great suggestions/ideas on this forum.
    I don't think that good commercial GTD software will ever be available because market share is too small.
    So let's create it ourselves !
    I have some ideas for GTD software itself plus how to make it financially rewarding for contributors to participate.
    If you are interested please read my blog here:
    http://dmitryka.blogspot.com/2005/03...-software.html
    I'd love to hear what you think about it ! Please post comments on my blog, here, or send me emails (blog has my address).

  • #2
    Never Seeing the Light of Day

    Dimitry -- If you want insights and contributions to your proposed project, perhaps you shouldn't denigrate the "amateur project that will never see the light of day". Some of those amateur projects work great and fill a need. While your project is equally worthwhile, I suggest that you ease up on the very GTD practitioners who can help make that project a success.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Unregistered
      Dimitry -- If you want insights and contributions to your proposed project, perhaps you shouldn't denigrate the "amateur project that will never see the light of day". Some of those amateur projects work great and fill a need. While your project is equally worthwhile, I suggest that you ease up on the very GTD practitioners who can help make that project a success.
      What I meant in there is "if I try to do it all by myself". No disrespect to other amateur projects intended.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Dmitry,

        I am happy you mentioned this and are willing to take steps toward a solution. Seems like many programs are out there (some VERY good), but none of them coincides with Allen's GTD system as if it were built specifically for it.

        I am C# programmer as well and would 2nd your vote on using it; this would be a great language for the project. I also agree the application written for the windows platform would take care of a large percentage of users; however, as you stated, would leave a minority (yet still large enough worthy of attention) of non-Windows users out in the cold and a bit salty. This would be a strong point of a web version that would be compatible with non-Microsoft browsers.

        Concerning joining the project, I personally have never had good luck working side-by-side (outside the boudaries of being co-workers at the same company -- not independent) in this manner, even with the closest friends or family members.

        In a project like this, the experienced developers tend be quite passionate about their vision, their design, and their coding style which is almost dear to their heart as their religion. The phrase "too many chefs in the kitchen" or "too many chiefs and not enough indians" comes to mind. I hope you or some one would be the central, "in charge" developer/architect who would have to make the final call on some tough decisions on the way things are done or set up.

        Then there's also the issue of one developer doing most of the work or "making it happen" or taking responsibilities of the gray area (or he/she just perceives it this way) and splinter groups of developers taking the code to do it "the right way" saying it was theirs since they "did all or most of the work". You may get a few programmers on the project who aren't seasoned. You may need to decide how to handle rewriting their portion while he/she is seeking legal cousel for nonpayment and you have to prove what he turned in was unacceptable.

        I'm not sure if you planned on creating a business entity out of this or not, but I would feel very uncomfortable opening myself up to what other partners decide on or commit to without my accord. I've heard many horror stories on partnerships, and I hope you protect your investment of time and resources legally.

        Currently my mind is on a web based version of this software; and it seems your heart is set on the windows platorm. I would be willing to form a mutual beneficail information exchange on specifications and file formats.

        This type of collaboration would end up being a win/win for us and the users, without the need to split any profits. This would allow all of our software (more developers may need to step up for developing the PocketPC and the Palm versions....and don't forget about Mac, unix, etc. platforms) to work well together so everyone is "Getting Things Done".

        For an example, I could expose all the user's data through web services (for importing and exporting) on the web server which you could call from a windows based machine and sync it up with Outlook. I would assume all forms of these programs would track the same types of things such as projects, action items, etc. What do you think?

        If you guys plan to write a web version in the next few weeks, I'd hold off to use yours. I'd much rather pay for software than have to write it from scratch. I just want to be "black belt" in GTD-do Karate ASAP

        Happy Coding!

        Comment


        • #5
          As DeveloperMCT raised many valid points, I will just comment on this one:

          Originally posted by Dmitry
          I don't think that good commercial GTD software will ever be available because market share is too small.
          What is a small market share in your eyes? I think the market is there. Of course you will not only limit yourself to market it to the GTD people. It can be also marketed to non-GTDers in a slightly different way, in fact that market would be more promising IMHO.

          Moreover, it can be just a relatively simple app, doesn't have to be complex like Ecco, the power is in the simplicity and sticking to the core GTD methodology.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi DeveloperMCT,
            You raise some interesting questions. I'll try to answer some of them.
            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            I am C# programmer as well and would 2nd your vote on using it; this would be a great language for the project. I also agree the application written for the windows platform would take care of a large percentage of users; however, as you stated, would leave a minority (yet still large enough worthy of attention) of non-Windows users out in the cold and a bit salty. This would be a strong point of a web version that would be compatible with non-Microsoft browsers.
            I've considered WEB version but I want rich and beautiful UI. The best is to have both (as you mention below) and I'm all for it.

            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            Concerning joining the project, I personally have never had good luck working side-by-side (outside the boundaries of being co-workers at the same company -- not independent) in this manner, even with the closest friends or family members.

            I hope you or some one would be the central, "in charge" developer/architect who would have to make the final call on some tough decisions on the way things are done or set up.
            I'm looking for 2 kinds of participants:
            1. Co-leaders who will drive project to completion, make tough decisions and be responsible for project success.
            2. Developers who are willing to contribute on "when time allows" basis but do not want to get too involved.
            Also I will be willing to give up a central role in favor of a more experienced project manager and will gladly become just one of co-leaders myself.

            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            ...just perceives it this way) and splinter groups of developers taking the code to do it "the right way"
            Legally it will be covered by NDA, practically I don't care too much.

            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            You may get a few programmers on the project who aren't seasoned. You may need to decide how to handle rewriting their portion while he/she is seeking legal counsel for nonpayment and you have to prove what he turned in was unacceptable.
            In worse case we'll just pay for a throw away work. Stuff happens.

            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            I'm not sure if you planned on creating a business entity out of this or not, but I would feel very uncomfortable opening myself up to what other partners decide on or commit to without my accord. I've heard many horror stories on partnerships, and I hope you protect your investment of time and resources legally.
            I'm thinking about creating a corporation as a legal mechanism to shield myself and others from potential liabilities. I'm not considering this to be a great business in terms of making money. Really the goal here is to create the software.

            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            Currently my mind is on a web based version of this software; and it seems your heart is set on the windows platform. I would be willing to form a mutual beneficial information exchange on specifications and file formats.
            This type of collaboration would end up being a win/win for us and the users,
            ...
            I fully accept your offer for collaboration. And I also invite you to participate in this project to make compatibility happen. You may consider to become a co-leader to be in a better position to achieve this goal.

            Originally posted by DeveloperMCT
            If you guys plan to write a web version in the next few weeks, I'd hold off
            No plans for now. The biggest problem I see with that is hosting, maintaining and securing the central WEB server.

            Thank you for your thoughts and your interest in this project.
            Dmitry

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tomas D.
              As DeveloperMCT raised many valid points, I will just comment on this one:
              What is a small market share in your eyes? I think the market is there. Of course you will not only limit yourself to market it to the GTD people. It can be also marketed to non-GTDers in a slightly different way, in fact that market would be more promising IMHO.
              The main goal here is to develop software. And if financial rewards will exceed my current modest expectatios that would be very cool.
              I'm not a marketing person so there will be a workitem up for bids/grabs for this.
              Originally posted by Tomas D.
              Moreover, it can be just a relatively simple app, doesn't have to be complex like Ecco, the power is in the simplicity and sticking to the core GTD methodology.
              I agree that the first version MUST be relatively simple, or it will never be released.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds great. I'll soon be starting on the web version. Right now I'll stay out of the windows project since I'll be plenty busy with the web version; however, I'll be available to discuss file formats, interfaces, and feedback. Anyone is welcome to send me private if you'd like my msn messenger screen name.

                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  SourceForge?

                  Hi Dimitry,

                  Have you considered starting an open source project on SourceForge? (http://sourceforge.net/) While the site has a strong non-microsoft flavour they still host projects developed using MS technologies such as a C# RSS news aggregator (http://sourceforge.net/projects/rssbandit/)

                  This site will provide a lot of the groundwork you're researching now...such as bug tracking, version control, getting developer resources, PayPal donations, etc.

                  If the main goal is truly to develop software that helps with GTD then I think an open source project is a good way to go and you can count me in.

                  Cheers,
                  GK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Be sure to check out Chandler before you run too far with this project. If possible, join them in their efforts instead.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Rewards are important to me

                      Originally posted by Unregistered
                      Hi Dimitry,
                      If the main goal is truly to develop software that helps with GTD then I think an open source project is a good way to go and you can count me in.
                      GK
                      I believe that rewards system is important. It would be easier for me (and possibly for others) to justify to my family the time spent on development if money are not involved. After all I'm a highly paid professional software developer.
                      My hope is that reward system will attract professional contributors which in turn will result in a high quality software.
                      I could be totally wrong here, but I want to try.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would have to agree as well. Unless there's something I've never understoood about the open source way of life, I don't get how programmers are able to support their families doing that.

                        I would agree it an open source type of project would be best for the development of the software as it would evolve quicker and more feature rich since more people would be developing for it. To my knowledge, there are already open-source projects on the GTD system. I wonder why those haven't taken off?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1st workitem is up for grabs

                          First Workitem: Create Non-Disclosure agreement is up for bids/grabs.
                          Please go here if you are interested: http://dmitryka.blogspot.com/2005/04...isclosure.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Project dead?

                            Hi guys....is this project dead?

                            Microsoft .net v2 is out!

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