My last cycle leading J!Research

Dear reader, if you are slightly surprised because of the title of my blog post, I have to confess I have used an old and well known strategy to catch your attention. Even though my routine and priorities have changed since I came to Europe to continue my studies, my cycle in J!Research has not finished yet and my motivation keeps as strong as in the beginning. I am concious that nothing is forever in this life and know that at some point in time I will have to hand over the control of the project to someone else. But stop talking about hypothetical situations; the real fact is that I am not going to leave J!Research in the short term, so J!Researchers ;-), I am afraid you will have to deal with my periodic mail spam for a while.

About my current situation, I decide moved to Germany because I want to continue my studies in Computer Science and several questions has raised since then. Some people ask me why I did not choose USA as it is considered to be more suitable, as well as easier. Maybe they are right, however, I always answer that is not all (at least for me). USA would be actually much easier because it is closer to my country, uses the same currency and would not imply to deal with a new language (which as matter of fact does not sound beautifully as Italian or French, sorry dear German speaker friends :S). Europe is a mosaic of culture and history and it was time to visit it.  It is really impressive to see the variety of languages and cultures that converge into this relatively small piece of land. Furthermore, Germany is one of the strongest economies nowadays, which is a great merit considering they lived two catastrophic wars. I admire that ability to recover after a disaster. Finally I have learnt to believe in self-improvement; no matter where you are, what you study, what you do, just give your best. There will be always someone who will appreciate your work. It does not matter if you do not succeed at the first trial (and rarely happens in my opinion). The important part is enjoying what you do and be surrounded by good people.


In relation to J!Research, it is worth mentioning that 1.2 Beta will be announced this January 6th. My decision to release it as soon as possible, was sudden and justified by the fact that reflecting activity is healthy for any software project. We had more than 3 months without reporting any improvement when actually a lot of new features had been implemented since the inception of 1.2. Ultimately, the main developers, Florian and me have been quite busy with our lifes and we had no time for our "hobby" project. Additionally, two new collaborators, Pablo Moncada and Iulian Dudita have joined the project and started contributing. My sincere gratitude for their time and interest . From my part, be sure I will continue devoting part of my spare time to J!Research. In Jan 4th, I restart my classes so January and February will be used to gather user's feedback. As soon as I get new vacations I will restart my work towards the next stable release. This time, we will have only one beta version, no more delays to the development cycle.

And after the beta? Well, I have changed my mind and decided to release J!Research 1.3 including support for multiple research areas as major feature. That will be the last release of 1.x family. Then, I will focus my effort to finish Research framework specification and design draft, the base for J!Research 2.0. Our opportunity to forget all our previous design and code flaws and include support for Joomla! 1.6. I really hope to count on developer team support in 2.0 stage otherwise it will harder for me.

Finally, my aim in the medium and long term is to extend J!Research functionalities into a full management solution. At the moment I think we are the most feasible option for research management in Joomla!, however many ideas attack my head, effect of users' feedback. Full support for members profiles and curriculums have been requested (take a look at LinkedIn), automatic upgrades, support for multiples centers among others. Thanks to this experience I have discovered research work management, storage and retrieval is a field which has enough space for a new integrated solution and I have started moving towards that direction. At the moment I am doing a course of Information Retrieval and Data Mining from which I intend to borrow some ideas . Only time will say if it my ideas have future. Anyway, in the meantime I will continue enjoying the open source process as well as reinforcing my work as a researcher and visiting Europe (Paris is my first ambition) ;-) Amén!!