Methods & Tools Software Development Magazine

Software Development Magazine - Project Management, Programming, Software Testing

Scrum Expert - Articles, tools, videos, news and other resources on Agile, Scrum and Kanban

Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - November 2004

*** Products ***********************************************************

* Product News

You can look at the last product press releases from software development tools vendors on our forum

*** Companies **********************************************************

* The New Software Industry Cash Machine

After having paid $1.6 billion in April to Sun to resolve pending antitrust and patent issues, Microsoft agreed this month to pay $536 million in cash to Novell to settle potential antitrust litigation related to Novell's NetWare operating system.

This year Microsoft seems to be the favourite cash provider of the software industry. It is also true that the Redmond's giant is sitting on a large pile of money... and does not seem to have the right ideas of where to invest it. Helping competitors that have some financial difficulties could perhaps lead to turn them into allies in some forthcoming battles. By the way, this settlement didn't restrain Novell to fill a new antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft related to WordPerfect claims... ;-)


* A New Head for Computer Associates

Computer Associates (CA) has just named John Swainson as new CEO, replacing Kenneth Cron. Cron was interim CEO since April following the departure of Sanjay Kumar due to a massive accounting fraud. Swainson was leading the sales organisation of IBM's software group and is the first CEO coming from outside the company.

This is the last move from CA to try cleaning its image. Before the accounting problem with the Security Exchange Commission, CA had also to fight against its reputation of getting the maximum of the licenses of captive customers, without providing evolution for its portfolio of products, many of them having been acquired seemingly only in this purpose.


* Where is the Source of Open Source?

One of the current issues with open source software products is the origin of their code. This is a side-effect of opening source code to everybody, a problem carefully avoided by commercial vendors. The main story in this area is the accusation of SCO that part of the Linux code is copyrighted.

To illustrate this situation, here is a little story that I found on the site of the Apache Foundation. Geronimo is a project developing an open source J2EE application server. It received at the end of October 2003 a letter from the attorneys of JBoss, an open source competitor, claiming that "portions of the Geronimo program appear to be virtually identical or substantially similar to JBoss program source code." JBoss is distributed under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) which restrain use of JBoss source code. Apache has its own license format.

In October 2004, the Apache Foundation answered that some of the similarities were simply due to the fact that JBoss used some source code of a former Apache project. Another similarity was due to the same author licensing code to both JBoss and Apache. (see for the full story and letters exchanged between JBoss and Apache)

Debates about copyrighting user-interface or algorithms have existed for a long time, but the open source movement brings it to a new level. Perhaps we will hear less complaints about the lack of code re-use? ;-)


* Company News

You can look at the last company press releases from software development tools vendors on our forum

*** Numbers ************************************************************

* Importance of Web-based Development

The last M&T poll was investigating the percentage of new applications that are developed using a Web technology. The question was: What part of your new developed applications are web-based (using a browser as user interface)?

The answers were:

  • We do not develop web-based applications 15%
  • 25% or less of the new applications 10%
  • 26% to 50% of the new applications 11%
  • 51% to 75% of the new applications 14%
  • 75% to 99% of the new applications 29%
  • 100% of the new applications 21%

Number of participants: 181

As you can see, web-based user interface has been widely chosen as a dominant standard interface for developing applications as 50% of respondents develop 75% or more of their new applications with this technology. There are many reasons for this:

  • - a will to cut dependence on the client-side operating system
  • - the possibility to improve management of application's changes
  • - the "portal" trend: an Intranet is the new starting point for all applications of an organisation
  • - the "Internet is good" influence that makes you ashamed to propose another interface


* Training for testing

The current M&T poll look at the amount of training received by software development professionals in the area of software testing.

Go to our [Vote] section to disclose your situation and to see intermediate results. The final results will be published in a future issue.

*** In Other's Words ***************************************************

* Open Source vs. Gosplan?

The open source (OS) community can deliver high-quality, very popular software [...] This software is developed in a culturally and geographically diverse environment. The developers do it for little or no money, with little or no extrinsic management.[...]

Before we go any further, we have to clear up a few issues.

The first myth to dispel is that OS development is a kind of communal (or communist, as some suggest) hippy-freak love fest. Nothing is further from the truth. In the OS world, you are your reputation - all that matters is how well you do. Developers work hard to win that reputation, by delivering high-quality code. Once won, they work even harder to protect it: submit poor code to an OS project, and the rest of the team will let you know in no uncertain terms - it's their reputations on the line. As a result, OS communities are meritocracies, and each project is run by a (hopefully benevolent) dictator. Compared to the OS model, it would be easier to argue that most corporate development has communist roots, with its strong belief in central planning and the interchangeability of production programming staff units. [...]

Source: Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt, "Open Source Ecosystems", IEEE Software, July/August 2004

I find amusing this analysis that gives the "communist" role to the commercial software projects and their central planning (Gosplan was the committee for economical planning in the Soviet Union). It is true that you can find many examples where project planning is performed "politically", without any connections with the actual resources or capabilities. In these cases, the customers or the high management plays, sometimes without knowing it, the role of the malevolent dictator and you have steering committees to replace the PolitBuro or Central Committee. I will also agree with the authors that the individual is generally more valued in open source projects. It won't hurt many software development departments if they tried to get more input from their developers instead of relying always on a top-down approach to manage software development processes and projects.

*** Books **************************************************************

* The Web Programmer's Desk Reference

Trying to create, maintain or understand how a web site works requires having knowledge of many different technologies. This book provides a good overview of the core web technologies (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) and a reference of all elements of these languages. For each element, you will find

  • - a description
  • - its syntax
  • - a practical example
  • - compatibility with different Explorer and Netscape browser

This makes more than 1100 pages that are easy to consult as a single source for web site programming.

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on

*** Conferences ********************************************************

* JAVAPOLIS 2004 - 13-17 December, Antwerp, Belgium

Join us from December 13-17 at JavaPolis 2004 in Antwerp / Belgium for the biggest Java gathering of Europe. JavaPolis welcomes only the best! The best international speakers (J2ME, J2SE, J2EE, Open Source, Security, Methodology, Messaging), the most inspiring cases and of course the market leaders in Java & J2EE. Last year more than 950 people attended JavaPolis. Don't stay behind and join us for the biggest Java conference of Europe.

Program preview, Info & Registration:


* Call for proposals EUROPEAN SEPG 2005 - 13 - 16 June, LONDON

We are currently inviting proposals from individuals who wish to present at the 10th annual European SEPG™ 2005. For the past decade the conference has been instrumental in promoting the adoption of process improvement across Europe. It is firmly established as the premier European gathering of software and systems professionals who are striving to improve their organisation's development capability in a process improvement environment.

Details of the Call for Proposals, and online proposal submission are available at

*** M&T News ***********************************************************

* Coming UP

In our Winter 2004 issue published next month, we will focus more on the agile approaches of software development with articles on:

  • Agile Multidisciplinary Teamwork
  • Feature Driven Development
  • The Core Agility Ratio (CAR): A New Metric for Object Oriented Software Designs and Implementations
  • Adaptive Project Management Using Scrum

In our Spring 2005 (March) issue, you will find articles about Open Source Software, the Agile Unified Process, Test Driven Development and Finite State Machine Modelling. In our Summer 2005 (June) issue, we will publish articles on IDEAL and Guiding Development with Customer Tests.

Stay tuned!


The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher
Copyright (C) 2004, Martinig & Associates

November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
November 2009
October 2009
August 2009
May 2009
April 2009
February 2009
January 2009
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
May 2008
April 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
August 2007
May 2007
April 2007
February 2007
January 2007
November 2006
October 2006
August 2006
May 2006
April 2006
February 2006
January 2006
November 2005
October 2005
August 2005
May 2005
April 2005
February 2005
January 2005
November 2004
October 2004
August 2004
May 2004
April 2004
February 2004
January 2004
November 2003
October 2003
August 2003
May 2003
April 2003
February 2003
January 2003
November 2002
October 2002
May 2002
April 2002
February 2002
January 2002
November 2001
October 2001
May 2001
April 2001
February 2001
January 2001
Winter 2000
Fall 2000

Methods & Tools
is supported by

Software Testing

The Scrum Expert