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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jacquard: a Methodology for Web Publishing

This article introduces Jacquard, a software development methodology
specialized for Web projects, and especially for Web development among
diverse teams. Jacquard seeks to align the work and goals of business
interest personnel, Web designers, programmers, project managers,
database analysts, and more. The author discusses the core principles
of Jacquard, and provides an example of its use in communication between
a user experience team and a programmer team. He uses the W3C's Simple
Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), which is a very useful technology
for the expression of ideas in a way natural to humans, but in a very
Web-ready format (RDF) -- together with the Turtle syntax for RDF, which
is easier to read than RDF/XML. The Jacquard methodology requires formal
expression of the core concepts in a way that can be a shared reference
across the various teams... Jacquard (pronounced like "jack-card" with
more emphasis on the second syllable) is a software development methodology
specialized for Web projects, and especially suited for such development
among diverse teams. The Web is in many ways different from any
information platform before it, and this suggests a fresh approach to
development and teamwork. In general it makes sense to look outward to
the Web, and not inward and backward to traditional methodologies, to
find what works. Lightweight, agile process mirrors the basic nature of
the Web, and so does focusing on the data, and how data is organized for
sharing. The specific application or database implementation is not as
important, nor are the tools you choose to use. This mirrors the Web,
which builds on sharing data, and does not require uniformity of
implementations. As such, implementation independence is one of the core
principles of Jacquard. Another principle is support for decentralized
communication. The Web works well across geographical boundaries, and
with the increase of off-shore outsourcing and flexible work arrangements,
it's useful to learn lessons on decentralization and rich communication.
The Web is such a rich information space that some philosophically
consider it a realm of its own which parallels, and sometimes intersects,
our own real world -- the idea of "cyberspace." Paying attention to where
idioms on the Web draw from real-world concepts and phenomena is important
to usability, and so Jacquard's principle of conceptual alignment
encourages you to take care to express the concepts behind your Web
project, and to make that clear expression the foundation for
communication on the project.


Anonymous said...

Not bad article, but I really miss that you didn't express your opinion, but ok you just have different approach

Anonymous said...

Very shorts, simple and easy to understand, bet some more comments from your side would be great