Month: September 2005

Sage advice

Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford. By David Gurteen

Thanks to Tom Peters for pointing me to this speech of Steve Jobs. Every young person starting out in life should read this! Here is just a taste:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.

[Gurteen Knowledge-Log]

Here‘s the link to the address if you want to go straight to it. –Jeff

No user involvement = disaster

Recipe for a CMS disaster.

InfoWorld has published a case study of a CMS disaster, caused by a lack of author involvement in the project. To quote:

The new system I was developing would be an improvement, but I knew it would take time for our users to become productive in the new environment — and they were not known for their patience. I was particularly worried because our project plan didn’t include any opportunity for interaction with the users.

Some of these problems could’ve been resolved through the use of requirements captured in a narrative format, along with supporting scenarios. But as indicated in the article, user involvement throughout the project is critical.

[Thanks to CMS Watch.] [Column Two]

Autonomy singing same old song

Autonomy continues to try to justify concept search versus keyword search.

“Say I’m interested in the effect of oil pollution on the penguin population of Alaska. Although that’s the idea someone is looking for they will walk up to a search engine and just type ‘penguin’.”

“They would never walk up to a librarian and just say ‘penguin’. And that’s the Google effect. We’ve been trained to assume the search engine is dumb and that takes a little un-training in enterprise.”

The tough part is that a lot of people use Google throughout the day. If I am jumping back-and-forth between Google and an Autonomy-powered portal, for instance, how realistic is it to expect me to shift gears between keyword and concept search? I have seen the power of concept-based searching and Autonomy, specifically, but the “un-training” is much easier said than done.

“Search is going to become a lot more than typing words into a box. It’s going to become about alerting. This has just happened, or this has just happened in your Malaysia office or we’re getting an awful lot of complaints coming into the call centre about this problem with the product,” said Lynch.

I agree with this as well. Maybe Autonomy should give up on user-executed search in the Enterprise and focus on behind-the-scenes alerting, clustering, and mining of unstructured data.

Quotes are from: Interview: Mike Lynch, founder of Autonomy. Sep 19 2005 8:36PM GMT [Moreover Technologies – Knowledge management news]

Quick summary on Documentum DevCon

Although steeply-priced at $2495, the annual EMC Documentum Developer Conference offered in-depth looks into the forthcoming 5.3 sp1 release (due out tomorrow) and access to Documentum product managers and engineers. I’d estimate about 300 developers from around the world attended the four day conference in Berkeley.

Release 5.3 sp1 promises to be pretty major, as far as service packs go. Many of the features that didn’t make it in to 5.3 due to time constraints are included in the service pack. That’s contrary to the normal EMC Documentum practice of limiting service packs to bug fixes with only minor changes or additions to functionality.

From my perspective, one of the most anticipated features is the next generation of the Business Objects Framework, BOF 2.0. The ability to hot-deploy and sandbox BOF Type Based Objects (TBO’s) and Service Based Objects (SBO’s) is high on my list. There’s also a new package of Search interfaces that look interesting.

This release will be the first in which Linux is supported across the stack. Release 5.3 installed without issue on my Red Hat Linux Enterprise 3 VMWare image. Customers already familiar with content server installations on other flavors of Unix should not have a problem.

FatWire still around

Die hard for FatWire Spark. After FatWire acquired the Content Server product line from divine in 2003, most commentators expected the original FatWire “Spark” product to fade away. Although sold almost exclusively in the USA and not easily upgradable to the more robust Content Server package, FatWire has kept Spark alive and today announced that Sun Microsystems will offer an unlimited – use license free to Sun Portal Server customers. This is an interesting move for two vendors struggling to find their niche. FatWire may see Spark as a lead generator, but some Sun licensees might come to find Spark limiting — although, to be fair, other portal vendors’ CMS tools are similarly light. Other customers might be frustrated that Sun, and not FatWire, will handle product support. Internationally, the FatWire sales force could be left in an awkward position, with Sun giving away Spark for free while the FatWire reps try to push the more complicated (and expensive) Content Server product. By Janus Boye. [CMS Watch Trends and Features]

Arrived in CA

I’m in Berkeley for the Documentum Developer Conference. Spent a wonderful evening over at my aunt and uncle’s house in El Cerrito. Great dinner and lots of fun catching up. The Claremont Hotel & Resort, the venue for the conference, is pretty sweet.