Chrome OS Gets A New “Retro” Look

I had a CR-48 Chromebook for a while, which has recently fallen in disuse. While I have never being totally convinced about Chrome OS being a polished, well designed, interface that simplifies the “always connected” user journey that Google was envisioning, I liked the concept.

Now I am reading in ArsTechnica that Chrome OS is getting a brand new look, that is … basically.. well, not new. While I am sure there are many technical advantages of a fully hardware accelerated windows managers, my issue is with the [lack of] concept.

Continue reading “Chrome OS Gets A New “Retro” Look”

Going Agile: The 6-Months Cadence

I have commented several times on the 2-weekly cadence that we follow at the certification team, but I haven’t gone into much detail on our 6 monthly cycle. We have just completed the Natty cycle (normally release date + 2/3 weeks) and we are about to start our Oneiric one.

6 monthly cycles help to plan achieving longer goals that drive the user stories implemented by the team in each iteration/sprint. During Natty, we had a loose coupling between these two.  I regularly (once a month) reviewed the progress of the Natty backlog and made sure that nothing was falling through the cracks. Despite the good completion rate in Natty, it was more of a case of the user stories forming the Blueprints (6 monthly requirements) than the other way around.

For Oneiric, the certification team went into UDS-O with much better defined blueprints. This has not only resulted in better sessions, but also on well defined backlog. Clearly, there is no much point trying to tight down what we will be doing in 4/5 months, so user stories towards the end of the cycle are vague and fairly large.  User stories for the next 2 months are better understood and described.

We have been collecting velocity data for the last few months, so by asking the team to roughly size new stories and review the sizes for the “next_iteration+1”, I hope to be able to build a burn up/down chart over the next few weeks! I will keep you posted.

Community online events – lots to learn

Over the last few weeks we have been preparing for the Bug Squad launch on the 29th of March.  I will be blogging more in detail about the Bug Squad soon, but today I wanted to share with you our experiences with organising an online community event.

This week we run a one hour pre-launch meeting with over 10 members of the squad team. We wanted to ensure we were able to communicate with the team and host a good discussions on the topics for the meeting.

The challenges that we faced were: Continue reading “Community online events – lots to learn”

Symbian^2 Defect Scrub

We are now nearing the end of the hardening phase for Symbian^2. This means that the community is concluding their productisation efforts and it is ready to move the release  into a “Stable” condition. Only contributions associated to critical defects will be accepted. It also signals that the community at large should focus on hardening Symbian^3.

Today we have around 160+ defects still open against Symbian^2.   Normally, community activity (package owners and contributors) would take care of them. However, Symbian^2 is still in start-up mode and this has not happened. So, We have 2 choices, leave the bugs where they are or clean them up.

To make sure that Bugtracker does not accumulate so much noise that renders itself useless for quality management in the future, the Release Council agreed to sponsor a”Defect Scrub” exercise. Continue reading “Symbian^2 Defect Scrub”

Mylyn – Why it is worth upgrading to Tasktop

I have been using Mylyn now for a while and it has been great to help keeping on top of large amounts of bugzilla entries. I’ve used it to manage the integration plan for the Symbian platform, which describes the expected contributions into the platform.

One of the benefits that Mylyn offers developers is the reduction on Context Switching. Context switching is not only costly for software programs, but also for humans working on concurrent tasks. Mylyn provides a great integration with the IDE that allows developers using Eclipse to substantially reduce the wasted time on switching between application and work tasks.

However, I am not a developer… so Mylyn did not really provide me with any improvements in this area. Hence, I decided to download the Tasktop 30-day-trial standalone version and see if I could have get some time-saving by exploring the additional features for “Task Context”.  Here are the results:

The first obvious advantage is that it doesn’t really load all the rest of Eclipse/Carbide functionality that I don’t use and that eats a substantial amount of my manager’s-spec laptop memory. Hence, the first improvement is better working speed!

Continue reading “Mylyn – Why it is worth upgrading to Tasktop”

Do you know when is it “week01” of 2010?

We run our project and release calendars based on week numbers. Taking into account that we run as an agile organisation with 2-weekly cycles, it helps to remember that things normally happy every odd or even week.

I was trying to work out the PDK release schedule for the next few months when I stumble at the oddity that are 2009 and 2010.  My problem was that 2009 has 53 weeks! and clearly 2010 starts with week 01. This creates the unusual situation of having 2 odd weeks in a row…

Ok, I can live with this… I said to myself 🙂 but then I relaised that my calendar was telling me that 1st Jan 2010 was part of week53 2009… that makes no sense, right? Continue reading “Do you know when is it “week01” of 2010?”

Update on the Release Plan

With the aim to share and highlight as much relevant information as possible, I would like to bring to your attention the week44 Release Plan! We have regularly published updates to release plan since May(ish) in the Release Council. In an effort to bring it up to the surface, we have created a landing page for it.

Just in case that you are wondering, the Release Council is formed by representatives of the following member companies: Samsung, Nokia, Texas Instruments, ST Ericsson, Sony Ericsson, DoCoMo, Fujitsu, Digia, Elektrobit and Teleca – and soon to join us Qualcomm IC.

Week44 update

We are currently working with 3 releases:Symbian^2 which is in hardening, Symbian^3 which is open for feature submission and Symbian^4 which we are currently roadmapping.


Continue reading “Update on the Release Plan”

Quality Snapshot for S^2

I have refered on the past to the capability of reporting metrics against the Symbian Platform. Finally we are there!

This week the team produce the first snapshot of Bug , Code size and Code Churn with real data. The snapshot is to be presented on Friday to the Release Council for feedback. Let’s have a look at it in more detail:

Defect/Bug Metics

These are graphics auto-generated from Bugtracker Metrics, it allows you to drill down to as much detail as you want. The data in the snapshot is frozen from an specific date, but you can re-run the queries live from the bugtracker metrics interface.


Now that we can measure it, we can start introducing some standard defect management practices.

Continue reading “Quality Snapshot for S^2”

The Symbian Integration plan and 584 package features

One thing I keep getting asked is “where do you get the data for the integration plan?”. In the past, I have mentioned that how features are added to integration plan, but from today I am publishing together with the pan: the raw data used to create it, the scripts that provide the data and filters that we used to manage the information available.


Continue reading “The Symbian Integration plan and 584 package features”

Risk Analysis – Integration plan (part 2)

Every person has a different risk profile. This is the willingness of that person to take a chance to achieve a reward versus the probability of failure. The amount of risk we are willing to take seems to be correlated to the reward promised and the time frame associated to it (i.e. will I get teh reward tomorrow, in 2 or 10 years). Risk profiles of companies are somehow a weighted average of the risk profiles of their employees. Hence, different companies (even in the same market segment) have different risk profiles. Continue reading “Risk Analysis – Integration plan (part 2)”