The one-point-oh release of any product is such an exciting time. While we decided to stick with the grass-roots publicity that we know best, the Tasktop release still brought a huge spike in downloads and hits. In the past two weeks the Tasktop video alone has been viewed over 8,000 times, contributing to over 120 Gigs of data we served. (I am so glad that we decided to chose an unlimited data plan from our ISP). But the most exciting part is all the feedback that we’ve been getting. Creating new technology wouldn’t be nearly as fun without some controversy, so it’s been interesting to see the comments and debates in the three places that we posted notes on the release. It’s also great to see new users like Dr. Internet getting excited about the Task-Focused Interface for organizing their day-to-day work, as well as the action on dzone.
|TSS: Tasktop 1.0 released: Mylyn for the masses (15 comments)|
|InfoQ: Bringing Mylyn’s Task-Focused Interface to Everyone (11 comments)|
|This blog: Reclaim your workday (13 comments)|
Our favorite and most lively forum for feedback is the integrated bug reporting facility that’s in Tasktop. Yesterday’s Tasktop Update already addresses some of the minor usability corners reported and we’re now nearing 200 reports, the vast majority of which are enhancement requests. Processing and responding to your feedback is very important to us because Tasktop is a new technology whose interface we’re evolving for a rapidly growing user base. We rely on early adopters telling us how to make the tool better support their work and prioritize improvements around that feedback on a daily basis.
Feedback is also important because our goal is to make Tasktop the glue between the many sources of information that surround us. We learned with Mylyn that the Task-Focused Interface is a very good glue technology because it focuses on the user and not on the information. Whether you like to keep your data with a service provider in the cloud or local and private, it will be automatically organized for you when you activate and switch tasks. The more kinds of task repositories and applications that we integrate with, the more users we can make more productive. This is why the Eclipse story is so important to us—there are way too many interesting tools and technologies out there for one company to do it all. Open source APIs in Eclipse and Mylyn enable the innovation networks that make it possible for Tasktop to support the large variety of technologies we use today. I’ll post more soon on how open source projects and our partners support that innovation.
As soon as we saw the onslaught of integration requests coming we put up a survey. While the degree-of-difficulty in these integrations varies with the extensibility of the tool—easy for any open source Eclipse based tool, hard with something that has no web service API like GMail—the survey numbers are extremely valuable in helping us determine where to take Tasktop next. For example, consider how the following chart helps us prioritize our evolving email integration story:
We just hit 81 survey responses and look forward to more, since there is still room to influence the upcoming releases (Tasktop Spring 2008 on March 18th and then Summer 2008 three months later). If you’re interested in seeing the survey result charts, they’re accessible if you log in to your Tasktop.com account or if you fill out the survey.
About Mik Kersten
Dr. Mik Kersten is the CEO of Tasktop Technologies, creator of the Eclipse Mylyn open source project and inventor of the task-focused interface. At Tasktop, Mik sets the strategic direction of the company as well as drives many of Tasktop's key partnerships and key customers accounts. He created Mylyn and the task-focused interface during his PhD in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Mik has been an Eclipse committer since 2002, is a 3-time elected member of the Eclipse Board of Directors and serves on the Eclipse Architecture Council. Mik's thought leadership on task-focused collaboration and improving the software economy makes him a popular speaker at software conferences, and he was voted a JavaOne Rock Star speaker in 2008 and 2009.