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Report on eXtremeManagement

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I finished a report for school about work I did on eXtremeManagement at Zest Software the past months. Biggest parts: getting xm to run on Plone 3.0 and use Zope 3 technologies. Download the report or read the preface, abstract and conclusion.

I made a report (link to pdf) for school about the eXtremeManagement project management tool for Plone. Now I just need to finish two other classes and then I am done studying. Read on for the preface, conclusion and abstract.

Preface

This report describes my final assignment for my study Informatics at the Rotterdam Institute for Informatics Studies (RIVIO) of the Hogeschool Rotterdam. The assignment lasted from February till June 2007. It was carried out for web development company Zest Software in Hoogvliet, The Netherlands. I have been working there since November 2005. Previous reports for school of my work for Zest Software (including this report) can be found on my website.

The main subject of this report is eXtremeManagement. This is a project management tool for the open source content management system Plone. At Zest Software we use this tool on a daily basis to keep track of what our customers want and how much time we have worked for them.

This eXtremeManagement tool can use some updates, which is the goal of this assignment. The focus is on the underlying technology: using more and more features made available by newer versions of Plone and the Zope web development framework that Plone is built on. Also some user interface improvements will be made.

I thank Hans Manni from RIVIO for keeping me on track for finishing my study. I thank Aad van Raamt for being the second teacher next to Hans on the committee. I thank Jean-Paul and Esther Ladage for giving me the opportunity to work on eXtremeManagement for five months. I thank Reinout for the photo on the front page. I thank my colleagues from all over the world for their feedback, their own additions to eXtremeManagement and for making Zest Software a very nice team to work and have fun with.

Conclusion

eXtremeManagement has been given a thorough cleanup. It runs on the current Plone 3.0 beta. Where useful, Zope 3 technologies have been put to good use. Personally, I have learned a lot about these new software versions and I am sharing that knowledge on my weblog and in mailing lists. At Zest Software we are happily using the latest version of eXtremeManagement and are full of ideas for further improvement.

Some recommendations and further actions to take:

  • Release a new version of eXtremeManagement soon: it is ready.
  • Building on the foundation laid during this assignment, do more work on the user interface. There are lots of ideas floating around. See Future plans (Appendix A).
  • Once Plone 3.0 is officially out, copy the current subversion trunk to a maintenance branch and continue development for Plone 3.0 only on trunk.

In closing, I will say I had a great time with eXtremeManagement and its users and co-developers on the mailing list. eXtremeManagement is a rocking product, ready to handle the future.

Abstract

This report describes my final assignment for school, which is: improve the eXtremeManagement tool: a project management tool based on Extreme Programming principles and running on content management system Plone.

The Introduction (chapter 1) paints the landscape of this assignment. What is Zope? What is Plone? What is eXtremeManagement? How do they fit together?

I made some improvements to the User Interface (chapter 2). Most of the original ideas there were not implemented however, for various reasons, ranging from simple lack of time to fresh insights that invalidated the original plan. The focus of the assignment was shifted to improving the core, instead of the front door.

Plone 3.0 (chapter 3) tells the tale of getting eXtremeManagement ready to run on the new (still in beta status) version 3.0 of Plone. I did some standard fixes applicable to all third party Plone products. I also did some other changes that were found to be needed. Finally I added an improvement to core Plone to make this upgrade easier for other products.

With Zope 3 (chapter 4) we come to the heart of the matter. More than originally envisioned the focus needed to be put here. I added marker and functional interfaces. I created browser views to make a clearer Model-View-Controller distinction. I introduced annotations for keeping track of estimates and hours worked. All three work together to make a far cleaner version of eXtremeManagement than was there at the beginning of this assignment.

I draw the Conclusion (chapter 5) that eXtremeManagement is clean and future-proof and that I have learned a lot in this assignment.