Jolt Awards by Ivar Jacobson

March 17, 2004

Today I gave a keynote at the Software Development West conference in Santa Clara. Today is also a very special day that I have been looking forward to for a long time. The reason is that the Jolt award judges announced their result today at the conference. WayPointer is one of the products that made it all the way to the finals. Given that WayPointer is so different compared to other tools, I was not sure that the judges would have time to penetrate it enough to see its many values.

I gave my keynote on Aspects and Use Cases working together. The audience seemed to like it and I enjoyed talking about it. After all, it is work that I started more than 25 years ago - that thanks to the work of Gregor Kizcales, Harold Ossher and other friends - now finally can be harvested. As you can understand, I was quite passionate.

Directly after my keynote the Jolt awards were announced. There were a number of different categories and WayPointer competed in the category for Analysis and Design tools. I had to wait for quite some time before the decision was announced. To my great joy and pride, WayPointer won a Jolt Productivity Award.

The Jaczone team has really done an incredible job. They have implemented a tool using concepts and technologies that not yet are widely supported by commercial platforms. They have done it in a very effective way and perhaps most importantly in a way that is accessible but yet non-intrusive to users.

I am very proud of them. Hope you all understand why this tool is so important.  

Iceland by Ivar Jacobson

September 29, 2003

Today, I am in Iceland for the first time. I have always wanted to go to Iceland. This is the country where people today speak a language that has changed very little in 1000 years. At that time our ancestors in Sweden, Norway and Denmark spoke a language more similar to Icelandic of today than to our modern languages. And, most amazing, I didn't understand much.

The reason I came here is that I just gave a talk at a WebSphere user conference. Unfortunately, I can only stay for a very short time. I arrived at 4 pm yesterday from Bonn in Germany and I leave at 1 pm today for Stuttgart - also in Germany. Since it takes about eight hours to get from Germany to Iceland, this nothing less than crazy! I have had a very interesting discussion with some key people. We all agree that software is becoming harder and harder to use - for many reasons. How are we going to change this trend in a dramatic way? Those of you who have followed my work the last couple of years know where I am heading. I believe we need to take a magnum leap. Basically, today all software is passive. The user needs to take initiatives and step by step tell the software what to do. I think that this needs to change for many reasons. Software gets too many features that most people don't know how to use. For instance, how many of the features in a mobile phone do you know how to use? Twenty percent? I believe we need to change this. I believe the trend needs to go from passive software to active software. By active software, I mean software that can help the user to use it - in many different ways. Our WayPointer is such a tool to help people use RUP, Rose or XDE. It makes RUP active. And WayPointer is just the beginning of a trend that will encompass all software.