timothy falconer's semantic weblog
Big Fractal Tangle


RDF
 
the promise of spring

This morning my house is surrounded by fog so thick it’s hard to see the ground from my upstairs window. I can almost feel the earth drinking in the needed moisture this wet morning. In recent weeks, the weather has been getting warmer. The highest, most stubborn, snow drifts are completely melted. We even went geocaching last weekend.

For those that live in a place where it doesn’t snow, you should spend a winter in a place like Pennsylvania. It’s impossible to describe a spring approaching. The changes are subtle, fragrant, wet, and green. Birds slowly arrive. Deer quicken their step. Turkeys chase each other playfully. Groundhogs re-emerge. Yesterday, I saw two red-tailed hawks soaring just outside my office window. There’s a majesty to the gradual unfolding of this season that’s lost on those living in warmer climates. You just can’t know spring without living through winter.

Spring marks another event for us here at Immuexa. March 21st is our scheduled “first glimpse” date for both Storymill and Tidepool. We’ve decided to release a new version of each product on the first day of each season, so instead of “version 1.2.3” or “Tidepool XQ”, we’ll release “summer 2004” and so on. Tying our release cycle to the seasons has a fitting feel to it. People know when to expect an update, and it keeps us to our mantra of delivering early and often.

This “first glimpse” will for most of you be just that, a glimpse. We’ve had some pretty significant user interface breakthroughs in the last week, so don’t expect something to download in two weeks. We’ll be going live with the product websites on March 21st, both of which will describe what we’re doing in detail, including screenshots. For the rest, you’ll have to wait for summer. You’ll be able to download and use Tidepool on June 21st.

I’m hoping everyone likes what we’re building. There’s some new ideas along with some old ideas stitched together in new ways. Like spring, it’s hard to describe what it’s like when a project starts coming together, particularly after a winter of uncertain intuitions and frequent design changes.

So much depends on trust… in ourselves, in each other, in everyone else. Many times I’ve held my head over a muddled mess of chicken scratch design notes. Often I’ve felt my stomach tighten as I learned of other efforts.

This morning though, I have more faith in where we’re headed. These design intuitions will bloom into something useful and real, no matter how hopeless things may sometimes feel. Right now, looking out at our little valley, watching the fog clear as the day brightens, it’s easier to see the promise of spring.

Comments are closed.