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Dream GTD software

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  • Dream GTD software

    I am a software developer trying to find a GTD system that I am happy with, that I trust, that integrates with my work environment, and that I could recommend to my co-workers, even though they may have different work styles & preferences, and use a different platform for their workstations.

    All I want is a GTD system that is:
    1. open source
    2. platform independent (at least Linux & Windows; PDAs would be nice)
    3. open standards based
    4. version control backed
    5. database backed
    6. back-end agnostic (i.e. works with any db, any revision control system)
    7. front-end agnostic (i.e. works with web, standalone app, text editor)
    8. project integrated (i.e. provides a "view" of embedded next actions in projects; does not duplicate this info)

    Am I asking too much? I don't think there's anything out there today that comes even close.

    In particular, I have puzzled over the last point. Applying the DRY principle (Don't Repeat Yourself) one should not have to mark a FIXME item in a comment in the code and enter it into their GTD system. The two are bound to drift out of sync with each other.

    Ben

  • #2
    Yes, you are asking too much.

    Originally posted by SynrG
    Am I asking too much? I don't think there's anything out there today that comes even close.
    Up to now nobody proved that do-it-all all-in-one one-for-all software application is good for every user and environment. For example it is very difficult to develop cross-platform web browser (the same usability on Palm PDAs and smartphones as on powerful, big-screen desktops). Even on the WinXP platforms some users prefer IE, some Opera, some Firefox etc.

    Yes, you are asking too much. And you are trying to make everybody happy just as Microsoft tries to do. But on the other hand Microsoft is the most successful company of our times so I wish you luck.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TesTeq
      Up to now nobody proved that do-it-all all-in-one one-for-all software application is good for every user and environment.
      Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions. I said that this system would not care what the back-ends or front-ends are. I did not say it would implement all possible back-ends and front-ends at once. It is possible to write a trivial script that performs some operation on a database that doesn't care what the back-end db is by carefully choosing the libraries used to access the database. I could use DBI with Ruby to do that, for instance.

      The same is true of my other requirements: I don't yet know of an abstraction layer that works with different version control systems, but with some careful wrapping of the version control parts of my dream GTD system, it should be possible to build the initial implementation using one system today, and later change it without disrupting the whole application.

      Nor did I say that the same front end must be used on all platforms, as you implied by citing web browsers as an example. Certainly, web browsers designed for PC desktops have different constraints than those that are designed for PDAs. That's the point of specifying that my dream GTD system must be standards-based. By cleverly choosing appropriate standards, the system will not be locked into any one particular client vendor or implementation.

      Yes, Microsoft promises the moon. And yes, Microsoft has deep pockets, so common sense says they would seem to have a better chance at delivering the moon than this open-source idealist would. But common sense also argues against the incredible complexity and usefulness of Apache and Linux. Yet they exist, are complex, and are useful.

      I'm only suggesting that maybe the ideal GTD application can be built if it is planned on solid foundations instead of being grafted onto a particular locked in vendor-specific platform.

      Ben

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SynrG
        All I want is a GTD system that is:
        1. open source
        2. platform independent (at least Linux & Windows; PDAs would be nice)
        3. open standards based
        4. version control backed
        5. database backed
        6. back-end agnostic (i.e. works with any db, any revision control system)
        7. front-end agnostic (i.e. works with web, standalone app, text editor)
        8. project integrated (i.e. provides a "view" of embedded next actions in projects; does not duplicate this info)
        In particular, I have puzzled over the last point.
        I use software that provides (h), project-action integration. An enormously helpful facility. I love (a), (b), (c) in principle. The successful open source projects I know of have a lot of research funding poured into them, though. (d) and (g) sound great, too; I don't know much about (e) and (f).

        I work with a research lab that does open-source, platform-independent, open standards based middleware for distributed, real-time, embedded systems. Don't know if that middleware would help you with the project you envision, though. Seems it might if any of your system used networking.

        Good luck with development and let us know when you are ready to release!

        Comment


        • #5
          What does it mean "ideal GTD application"?

          Originally posted by SynrG
          I'm only suggesting that maybe the ideal GTD application can be built if it is planned on solid foundations instead of being grafted onto a particular locked in vendor-specific platform.
          What does it mean "ideal GTD application"?

          Do you know any ideal text editor, word processor, spreadsheet, file manager, web browser, operating system, compiler and so on? Some are better but no application is ideal.

          So your goal is idealistic - not realistic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TesTeq
            What does it mean "ideal GTD application"?
            SynrG's goal seemed pretty specific in the rest of the sentence -- "planned on solid foundations instead of being grafted onto a particular locked in vendor-specific platform."

            That doesn't mean it would have no disadvantages or be chosen by every GTD user. It means the software would be designed for GTD data and operations rather than modified later to accomodate them. Modifying existing code to support different operations and data is often inefficient.

            Software that is well designed from the ground up is just better to use. I have 2 applications (not for GTD), one of which has been modified over 15 years to add functionality, the other was designed for that evolved functionality and platform independence from the ground up. The first is a nightmare of inefficiency to use; the second is a pleasure.

            I still have to use the first one because of its market share, though. It may be easy to design a better product than Microsoft's, but hard to compete with its ubiquity.

            Comment


            • #7
              Open Source = Free

              It would be ideal to have all the features you dream of and not have to pay for it.

              Comment


              • #8
                The big advantage of open source is that each single user can customize the system as he needs to do.

                I can imagine what SynrG thoughts were when posting his vision: At the moment the Outlook add-in is quite static and maybe he feels quite unconfident using it because of the lack of open source and documentation.

                What I have in mind instead of building an ideal GTD application is someting else: Arrange a modular system.

                SynrG, let's build an rudimental Outlook add-in serving as the roots of GTD in Outlook with well documentated interfaces. Everyone can contribute his or her macro snippets to it and we have kind of an oppen source GTD application.

                Christian

                Comment


                • #9
                  Respectfully disagree

                  Though it is true that open source allows one the ability to contribute, very few people or organizations do this, let alone have the technical skill. Many people will use it as an alternative to paid software because free is always preferable to handing over cash and that is what I propose is the "big advantage" when comparing total cost of ownership to other systems. It is so strange to me that people so expectedly take their skill and give it away for free. I know I would much rather get paid for my skill. The main difference here of course is that all the time invested into software is manfiested as an end product which can easily be copied. The closest similarity I can think of is music, which people have also freely copied without regard to the rights of the musician or all the many people that put their skill/time into the production of the music. Because the technology exists, does not make it ethically imperitive that we disregard other people's investments.

                  Comment

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