Monday, November 21, 2011

#Agile is about getting functionality out

Many software development projects fail to get functionality in a timely manner. Often all functionality is released all together and it has to function to the nth degree. Usually it doesn't and usually the users of the new functionality grumble and object. The Wikimedia Localisation team does not produce everything in one go. What it does is produce functionality that is described in a story
Alolita wants to edit to localise the user interface in Hindi and uses the Narayam functionality to mimic a Devanagari keyboard. She is not able to type blind and she uses a mock-up of the keyboard to find the keys she needs to press
In Agile this is called an "user story" and for us it is part of the Narayam "epic story". This story is analysed, it is divided in tasks, they are given points and every fortnight it is decided what stories to implement in the next sprint. Those stories can be quite rough around the edges consider; a story that takes as a premise that the user can type Hindi blindly is already in production.

The point of the stories is that they describe precise functionality and this is what is realised in a limited time frame. These stories are selected at the beginning of a sprint and consequently not only does new functionality get frequently realised and implemented, priorities for what the language team is to do are also constantly re-assessed.

Our hope is that our users; the Wiki communities will find us responsive. Our aim is to make the gap  between the user-experience in English and any other language as small as we can make it.

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