Saturday, November 03, 2007

Frameworks & Accessibility

There's something relaxing about a well formed framework, whether it be a clean simple design, a stylish approach to a new problem being solved, the thought process that went in to its production or the functionality it delivers - what ever the case is something attractive and strangely sensual about good design.

Having a strong and simple foundation is important when introducing new people to a team, or a product to an audience and taking this in to account at the start of a project helps present options for future growth.

I've been spending some time building a new framework for OpenSebJ; to be used in both the Mixing and vScaleNotes products. I wanted something that would provide a new forging ground and one that could be easily modified and built upon over time, there were some great lessons learned from the OpenSebJ releases so far and a key one is accessibility.

It relates to User Interface Design, Application Prerequisites and well formed Frameworks. If the UI is to hard to come to grips with then its not an accessible product for people. If the Application Prerequisites are too much then you immediately reduce your potential install base; unless you can bundle it all in and package it up in the installer - this can be a bit of an issue if your trying to mix incompatible licenses. These issues prevent people accessing and using the product, a similar risk is also present for additional developers. It's important to cultivate the development community and as such it's a great idea to have the lowest barrier to entry for future changes and modifications, which can be facilitated through a well formed accessible framework.

Theres also something strangely relaxing about building them..