Coyer/Schram Assignment 9

1. what did you find (articulate the answers in your own words)

1.1. interesting about the article?
The concept of the article was interesting. It seemed very similar to open source and Domain Driven Design. We also found the diagram of Scope v. Learning cost to be an interesting way of describing the world of End-User Development. The illustration of difficulties between IT managers and end users was humorous, and it was a fitting end to the point being made in the sentence (enforcing standards...).

1.2. not interesting about the article?
Because it was so similar to these other forms of design there was very little new material presented. This made the actual article not as interesting. Also, the frequent italisizing of text made the article harder to understand and therefore less interesting... emphasis can be better expressed via manipulation of sentence structure.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?
The main message of the article is that there are obvious benefits from allowing the actual users of a system to participate in the design process. This participation does have a cost associated with it, but in many cases it seems to be worth it... it all seems to depend upon the necessary scope of the project and the willingness of the user to learn a new skill.

3. is meta-design an

3.1. interesting concept? why?
It is an interesting concept because designing a system that is going to be used to design a system is very difficult, albeit quite necessary in light of the ever-steepening learning curve associated with general languages (C# v. C++, for example). Soliciting contributions from people outside of the software design domain is also a very good way to design systems that will have high functionality and usability. Finally, the fact that meta-design creates systems that are under 'continuous development' guarantees that a system can always be up to date.

3.2. not interesting? why?
It was entirely interesting, although the section on open-source was slightly redunant (the structure of meta-design is very similar to open-source).

4. what do you consider the major technical and social challenges associated with meta-design?

4.1. technical
The major technical challenges associated with meta-design are that the system needs to be very flexible. The actual software designers need to lay down a base and then allow the users to build up the rest of the system. We think this is a very hard thing to do within the constraints of today's generalprogramming languages. Perhaps a meta-design system will be the basis for other more complex and advanced meta-design systems.

4.2. social
The major social challenges associated with meta-design are that designers are protective of their code. A company that produces a revolutionary new product is not going to want to release the code for the product to the world and subsequently lose their 'edge' on the competition. This will be very hard to overcome in a capitalistic society... although the open-source movement has a powerful following.

5. describe your own experience with meta-design

5.1. with ideas associated with meta-design
We have studied open source design within our curriculum here at CU. We also use and come in contact with open languages and products such as Linux and Perl, (and sometimes when we feel adventurous open-source web browsers).

5.2. with systems built on meta-design?
We have interacted with the Swiki throughout this class. Since we are end-users and not developers, we are slowly changing it to meet our needs.