Updated my publications page …

It’s been a while, but now that the last two big journal articles I had in the pipeline for ages are printed, I finally updated my publications page with proper references and pdfs.

For those who got to know me more recently (or don’t know me at all). I have been moving back and forth between academic jobs and non academic jobs for about twelve years. The last two years I’ve been employed in a strictly non-academic role, which I enjoy very much. Before that I was working (and publishing) at the Nokia Research Center. In that job, I squeezed out several not so important workshop articles and book chapters as well as two major, big journal articles (which in the academic world is all that counts). Those articles took a long time to write and even longer to get reviewed, edited, re-reviewed, re-edited, accepted, re-edited, approved, edited by a professional editor, approved, pre-published, and finally printed.

Practical Web-Based Smart Spaces

Mobile devices are evolving into hubs of content and context information. Many research projects have shown the potential for new pervasive computing applications. This article shows how Web and resource-based smart spaces can support pervasive applications in a wide variety of devices. A framework that employs a resource-based HTTP style for pervasive services called Representational State Transfer (REST) can enable easy mashup of applications. This framework has several important features. First, a flexible access control mechanism on top of the OpenID and OAuth protocols provides security and access control in heterogeneous, dynamic environments. Second, a search engine can collaborate with existing service and network discovery mechanisms to find resources on the basis of their indoor location. Finally, an emerging W3C standard, Delivery Context: Client Interfaces (DCCI), facilitates sharing information within a device in an interoperable fashion.

The first article, we decided to write in 2008 as a way to promote the fine research we had been doing in Nokia Research. You can’t get better marketing for your research than an article in a high profile magazine with a wide distribution in the research community. The magazine we selected for this was Pervasive Computing, and I’m very proud and happy we got our article in. Since this is a magazine and not a journal, the article is comparatively limited in size, which means that it posed some interesting challenges on what to keep in it and what to omit.

Comparing Practices for Reuse in Integration-oriented Software Product Lines and Large Open Source Software Projects

This paper compares organization and practices for software reuse in integration- oriented software product lines and open source software projects. The main observation is that both approaches are successful regarding large variability and reuse, but differ widely in practices and organization. To capture practices in large open source projects, we describe an open compositional model, which reflects their more decentralized organization of software development. We capture key practices and organizational forms for this and validate these by comparing four case studies to this model. Two of these studies are based on published software product line case studies, for the other two we analyze the practices in two large and successful open source projects based on their published developer documentation. Our analysis highlights key differences between the practices in the two open source organizations and the more integrational practices used in the other two cases. Finally, we discuss which practices are successful in which environment and how current practices can move towards more open, widely scoped and distributed software development.

I started writing the second article, already in 2006. The first drafts were not very satisfying and we put it on ice for quite some time until deciding to finally get it published in 2008, which meant a more or less full rewrite of what we had until then. From there it took until September 2010 to get it printed. Most of those 2+ years were spent waiting and very occasionally doing major revisions of the article in response to some reviews and editor comments.

This last article (for now) has some continuity from my earlier work on software variability, software product lines, and software design erosion that I covered in my Ph. D thesis in 2003 (and several related publications). We present a model for large scale software development that we reconstructed from observing “how it’s done” in several case studies published by others as well as in the open source community as well as our own experience studying various systems and companies, as well as getting our own hands dirty with actual software engineering. Two years of subsequent practicing real software development in Nokia has only strengthened my belief in the vision presented in the paper, which is that the only proper way to scale software development to a software eco system (i.e. a thriving community of many developers across many organizations working with and on the software) is to decentralize management of the development process. If you are interested in this and want to read more, co-author Jan Bosch, my former Ph. D. supervisor who now works at Intuit, has been publicizing this view as well in his frequent talks and keynotes at various conferences. This website is dedicated to this topic.

Now with both articles out of the way, the question is “what’s next?”. The answer to that, for now, is nothing because I haven’t started writing any new articles in the last two years. And frankly I’m not likely to start writing one soon since I lack the time and I’m appalled by the snail pace at which the publication process progresses. Both articles have turned out very nice but would have had much greater impact if we had been able to get them written and published in the same year instead of (nearly) 3 to 5 years apart. Sadly, this is the reality of academic life. You write your stuff, you move on, and some day stuff actually gets printed on dead trees. There are more reasons, which I won’t rant about here but it is a big factor in me not being interested in publishing any more, for now.

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