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2008-05-21

 

Cybersmith: No-friction Bits and Pieces

I'm a little distracted by James Waletzky's Tuesday, May 20 installment of Progressive Development:  Motley says: "Spend less time in OneNote and more time in Visual Studio"

In this installment, Maven makes a paen to the ways that Microsoft Office OneNote is valuable in routine capture of notes and material related to a project.  Maven also extolls use of shared OneNote files for collaborative creation and maintenance of all of those artifacts other than code that must be developed and maintained in the course of a software development.  The idea is to reduce the friction in creation and sharing of such materials among the members of a development team.

I'm a big believer in the Extreme Programming "Travel Light" maxim (and my current career situation fits that perfectly).  Although I have friends who swear by OneNote, and I do make use of it on my Tablet PC, I haven't caught the fever.

I'm concerned that the step-function for using OneNote (and the debt that accompanies yet-another siloed, proprietary document format) involves a large tax in terms of the level of Microsoft Office System commitment that must be made to support collaboration among members of a development team. 

When the Office System (and Sharepoint) pill is too large (or the project is distributed in a way where it is simply impractical or unaffordable), other, lighter-weight approaches must serve.  Project wikis come immediately to mind, as well as the use of distributed versioning for documents (to help in resolving conflicting updates and provide off-line as well as on-line working).  Some people even use their bug-tracking system this way, although I don't find that satisfying myself. 

What tools work for your (distributed) project-team collaborative-document and speedy note-taking and informal status needs?  Do you use them for in-house projects, distributed projects, or both?  How about collaborations in an open-source project?  How do you navigate the need for sharing and collaborative documents and the desire for easy, rapid note-taking, project narration, feature discussions, easy time tracking, etc.

 
EverNote might be a lighter-weight solution: http://wapreview.com/blog/?p=558

I'm not keen about using a cloud service, but if I could get to my own Windows Home Server from anywhere, that would be cool.

The collaborative use is unclear.

What have you found?
 

 
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