uDig 1.1.0

I’m a cowboy. I like to just slap a brand on the cattle and push them out the gate. Sometimes this gets me in trouble.

Jesse Eichar, the uDig project lead, is not a cowboy. The 1.1.0 release comes after a series of 14 (fourteen) “RC” versions and three “SC” versions. Congratulations to Jesse, and to Jody and Andrea and other uDig team members, on “going gold” with the 1.1 release. Remember, if things aren’t perfect, there’s always 1.1.1!

One thing watching the uDig development process has taught me over the years is how much harder user-facing applications are than server-side ones. The number of places you can “get it wrong” is orders of magnitude greater. The number of ways you can fine tune and fine tune and fine tune a particular piece of interaction is almost infinite (the editing tools are something like major revision four since the project started, and I’m sure there will still be things to be changed and fiddled with, given the hyper-modality and hyper-interactivity of editing). It has given me a lot more respect for the people writing web browsers and word processors and all the other virtual tools that we use every day. And now I automatically quadruple estimates that involve user interfaces, instead of merely doubling them as I used to.

Update: A timely review of uDig, posted at the Linux Journal.