Agend Redux Iteration 4 Wrap-up

July 2nd, 2006

Iteration 4: Text Matching Engine

The main goal of this iteration is to get a simple text matching engine in place. One of Agenda’s core features was its ability to automatically match items to categories based on the information in the item. The targetted features for this iteration are:

  1. Simple text matching: text will be analyzed to automatically generate assignments between items and standard or exclusive categories. We will not attempt parsing of values (e.g. dates) in this iteration. DONE
  2. Category Manager Enhancements: support additional editing features in the category manager. DEFFERED
  3. Look and feel enhancements: make the app look a little prettier — it needs some love. PARTIAL
  4. View Manager: support for add/remove view DONE

This was a fun iteration.  The text matching engine came together much quicker than we anticipated.  Ruby is a natural fit for that kind of processing.  We didn’t get as far as we liked on upgrading the look and feel as we would have liked — one of the engineer’s motherboard’s blew and they weren’t able to put much time on the iteration as a result.

Also, we realized at this juncture our core focus should be on driving out the key functionality — our initial set of ‘tinker toys’.  Once we have that, we will shift focus on the variety of ways we can recombine those pieces, and the various ui modes that will allow those features to transfer well to the user base.

We want to make sure we leverage the world we have today.  We have RSS, mobile devices, mash-ups, and web-apps a plenty.  The big question is what kind of applications make sense today.  Back in the late ’80s technology restricted us to think of apps that dealt with ‘personal’ content that we entered in manually.  Today however, you have the means to meld that personal content, with social and group content.  I am very interested to hear from all of you what kinds of things would you envision using this technology for?  We are no longer confined to a stand-alone box.  You can conntect to the entire internet and the app can now travel with you in the form of pda’s, phones, and other mobile devices.  What will you use it for?

The most common usage was for planning and calendaring.  But given the proliferation of planning and calendaring software today, is this still the most optimum usage of the technology?  Or rather should it be a conduit to today’s apps tying them together?

I encourage you to share your thoughts via comments on this post.

Ah, I almost forgot — the iteration walk through :)


Alright, we log in as usual.

And we create a new file.

We hope over to the category manager to add few categories.

We add a people category, and then under people, Tanya.  Since Tanya is my wife, I set “also match on” to wife.  I could enter several terms here if I wished.

I also add a Places category and a Paris category under places.  I set Paris’ “also match on” to “city of lights”.

Lets hop back to the view and try it out.

I type in “take my wife to the city of lights”.

The text matching engine automatcially assigned my task to Tanya and Paris.  Now lets try adding a new view.  We click on the view manager and select “New View”

We add a view called “Contacts”.

We click on “Contacts” to select the view.

The view is currently empty.  We add a section called “Tanya”.

Hmm, I guess we ought to plan a trip to Paris 😛

Entry Filed under: Agenda Redux


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