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Collaboration in Software Development Process

Rizwan Ansary, Randell Rivandeneira, Andrew Skalet, Nilo Tsung

1. your major achievement(s) so far

We have been able to produce a database in MySQL and be able to connect it through Java's jdbc to mysql bridge. We have also been able to construct a user interface to this database so that it provides added metadesign capabilities for the PitaPB project. We are at the stage of implementing the connection between the interface and the database, so that changes to projects are stored in the database. We are also discussing issues regarding binary (picture) storage either in the database or in a file system. This concern comes from the Java constraint that applets run locally and can not store files directly where the server containing the Java applet is located.

2. most difficult (sub)problem you encountered (and solved) in your work

The most difficult problem was attempting to implement this project using Swiki and Smalltalk. None of the technical members in the group knew this language. We tried for some time to learn it, and finally we decided to adopt a different approach in order to contribute maximum added value to the PitaPB project.

It is by no means a loss, since the time we spent trying to understand Swiki and Smalltalk was a great learning experience. We did collaboration with each other in order to achieve some knowledge about this two programming languages.

Another issue that was encountered was designing the User Interface and Database Model. This took time in order to tailored what the desired tools we needed and trying to consider that we were helping design metadesign. In other words, our Datababase Model and User Interface were designed considering that our project was improving metadesign in the PitaPB project.

3. relate your project to 3-5 major themes/papers which we discussed in the class (and briefly articulate the relationship)


  • Distributed cognition: Our project is helping the PitaPB project to allow users to be able to setup different projects throug a web enabled interface. In this sense, our project helps for several participants to enable improved sessions as those done during class. Also, this project has exemplified how distributed cognition among ourselves has work in order to construct our system. Some of us knew some elements of Databases and Java, but it was distributed knowledge that allowed us to come with the best design and innovative ideas.
  • EDC: Throughout the semester, we visited the DLC space in which the EDC projects are developed, and explored how EDC projects relate to concepts in the course. The course explorations focused the most on the PitaBoard project. Since our project extends PitaBoard's capabilities, it contributes to the EDC.
  • Meta-design: The primary goal of this project is to support Meta-design. With Meta-design, we allow for users to be able to design projects in PitaPB. Hal developed a simple prototype interface that does this and we are implementing a new interface with the greatest flexibility for meta-design possible. It has been an interesting challenge to try to design in the most flexibility to our interface, so that the users, acting as designers themselves, can have the most freedom.
  • Collaboration: Since the PitaBoard is an innovative research project into computer-supported collaboration, and we are extending the capabilities of the PitaBoard, we are extending collaboration research, in a small way. Enabling users to create and customize projects remotely will make the on-site time with all of the stakeholders more productive.

4. describe the remaining work to be done before May 3

  • UI design
We are fleshing out our basic implemented UI design to provide the greatest metadesign capabilities possible. We need to be able to display multiple overlayed images in an arrangement that is intuitive for the user.
  • MySQL communication
We are working in the communication of our UI with MySQL database. We are already able to communicate with the database, but as we extend our database design, we will need to enhance the abilities of the UI to store the additional data.
  • Database design
Database design might be changed if new tools require it.
  • Uploading files
We need to implement our strategy for uploading files to the server. We may choose to upload them directly to the database, but we currently have explored uploading to the file system via FTP.
  • Review of ePM software

5. articulate any questions which you might have at this point of time

We are moving ahead with a clear idea of our goals, so we do not have questions at this time.

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