My new blog can be found at blog.davekoelle.com. Please read my latest thoughts there!
Astute observers will notice that it’s been two years (almost exactly) since the last time I posted to this blog. I’d like to change that!
In the past, I tried too hard to conform to my blog’s theme, which was supposed to be about my observations and experiences in transforming innovative ideas into usable products. Starting now, I’ll be more unbounded in my posts. I might as well just call this “Dave Koelle’s Blog” instead of “From Idea to Product” – although I still insist that, in both my work and my personal projects, my expected end-state of an interesting idea is the development of a practical, real-world implementation that others find useful, usable, and enjoyable.
So, what’s happened over the past two years? I twice presented JFugue at JavaOne (making three times total). A JFugue-based tool, Log4JFugue, was featured in the September 2009 issue of PragPub Magazine as well as my 2009 JavaOne presentation. Log4JFugue is written by Brian Tarbox of Wabi Sabi Software (who presented with me at JavaOne). You can even learn more about JFugue on Wikipedia (thanks, JFugue user community!).
Other side projects have kept me busy over the past two years as well, like my polyhedra-building microhobby (the Great Dodecahedron and Great Icosahedron are my newest favorite shapes) as well as other endeavors. There’s always something interesting noodling around in my head!
I’m writing this post using Windows Live Writer (which I found out about through Jeff Chausse), and I love it already! I always felt there was a place for a desktop application that can help with one’s online tasks. There’s something different about launching an application from the desktop, versus going to Firefox, typing in a URL or going to a bookmark (which so easily become messy), and having to enter my password again. On a busy day, I’m more likely to just not bother with all those steps.
This desktop app is free, it’s got cool “Insert” functions (“Insert Map”, “Insert Video”, etc), and it’s nicely usable! I just feel so much more at home with a desktop app, as opposed to a web app that, despite all of the Web 2.0 advances, still feels like a contrived user experience that’s trying to hard to be something it isn’t.
Like Jeff, I highly recommend Windows Live Writer. A good idea turned into a great product!
I just had a personal demonstration of One Laptop Per Child, thanks to my friend SJ [blog]. I am incredibly impressed – I have no doubt that this is going to revolutionize learning and knowledge across the world. Many other patrons at Z Square looked over our shoulders and asked about the perfectly-sized device.
This machine is amazing – and it has a bunch of features. I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing the image below from the OLPC Wikipedia entry – please note that the image is shared under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license. Just look at everything they’ve packed into the little wonder! The real amazing thing will be when this gets distributed to children in countries that don’t have strong libraries, educational facilities, and so on. Kids can take this, sit under a tree, and read any book they have on their computer, or peek at the workings of the programs on the system, or create ad-hoc networks with each other and share pictures and videos… the possibilities are really limitless.
I am excited to announce that I will be speaking at JavaOne 2007, May 8-11, in San Francisco. My technical session will discuss JFugue, my Java API for Music Programming, and I will also get into API Usability.
Geertjan Wielenga, who used JFugue to create the NetBeans JFugue Music NotePad – and to whom I owe an enormous debt of gratitude for encouraging me to submit a speaking proposal to JavaOne – will be speaking with me, and he will discuss the ease of using JFugue in developing the Music NotePad.
In related news, I’ve been putting a lot of work into the latest release of JFugue, version 3.0. It’s taken a little longer than I had planned, but it has also exceeded my expectations and I’m incredibly pleased with it. Typically, I’m more of a fan of frequent, incremental software releases, but for this version I decided to make one big release, since I was making a number of substantial changes to the underlying architecture. I’m also working on a book, “The Complete Guide to JFugue”, which I will sell on the website – hopefully people will buy it as a way to show their support for such a wonderful API!
The new feature list is amazing – JFugue will let developers play with music in ways that have never been so easy. At the same time, I have maintained the same simple, easy-to-use API for specifying and working with music. Most users won’t have to change a thing when they upgrade to JFugue 3.0, and now there’s an extraordinary potential for people to programmatically play with music.
The new release – and new JFugue website – will be released soon, and I’ll be sure to post again when it’s up!
Welcome to From Idea to Product! I intend to use this blog to spread the joy of transforming fascinating ideas into outstanding software products. I will cover best practices and new innovations in the software lifecycle, the ups and downs of business and marketing, and most importantly of all, the travails and the glee of the end-user.
This ought to be a fun and informative ride!