I like working with Software. I have fun handling large data sets and producing interactive 3D visualizations which are useful, nice and cool. On the way to create them I, of course, need a huge lot of functions, libraries and services. It is a painful fight till all those parts fit nicely together. But, I would be lying if I would say that this fight is not part of the fun. It is great seeing the parts from different persons matching together to a working whole. In my current projects source code combines from colleagues from Dresden, ex-colleagues from Stuttgart, my student assistants and my advised students.
However, the real pain are the interfaces and the stability of those parts. Of course, you could swap the implementation of anything behind a good interfaces without influencing the rest of the system. But, someone needs to show me a good interface, yet! I haven’t seen one without its problems, and I have seen many. The continuous development get increasingly difficult with each component added. Especially if there is no overseeing architect.
As a matter of fact, MegaMol is currently exactly on that way down. It is actively used in Stuttgart and Dresden. I, of course, want to foster and extend that process. After all, MegaMol is my project and I am proud of it. But, the larger it gets and the more it is used, the harder it gets to continue the development. Several fundamental problems can only be solved with fundamental changes. These will bring displeasure. And I am not sure how to handle the necessary work load. On the one hand I am reducing my active development to act more like a director of the future development. On the other hand, the actual development is passed from one Ph.D. student to the next, like a scapegoat. This, of course, does not help. I am really not sure how to solve this.
MegaMol Modul Graph (10.1109/TVCG.2012.282)
But, I have my plans. “Partitioning”! And I know exactly which parts need to have my priority and which are critical. The main problems, however, are the interfaces in between. Those are far from being clean and therefore the whole current partitioning is in vain. The first tries to solve that were … semi-successful. But, I don’t even think of quitting!