Hey, guess what …

SdiDesk rocks!!!

Seriously.

I’ve been working, on and off, on the Python translation and making some progress, but the whole VB code-base had gone stale for me. And, although I’ve been using SdiDesk for the odd notes, I’ve been dabbling with other things like the OPML Editor and writing more on online wikis.

But this week I’ve started a new job in a fairly corporate environment. I’ve been expected to get up to speed on a lot of things fairly quickly. This is a local division of an international company, selling one component in a larger enterprise system. In the first three days I’ve had to get an idea of where our place is among various partners, suppliers, customers, systems integrators etc; I’ve had to get a picture of a range of different products and modules and libraries produced or consumed by different players; I went out yesterday and watched as someone upgraded the installation of our product on-site with one of our partners and will probably be expected to do it by myself the next time. SdiDesk has been absolutely, amazingly, invaluably useful as a place to dump all the information which is being thrown at me.

I’ve used most of the features : drawn a quick network diagram to sketch out our position in relation to our partners, clients, their clients etc. etc. And as each box in the diagram links to its own page, I can add other information about the parties : web-sites, contact info etc. I’ve drawn similar network diagrams to show the relations between the various tiers and modules in the software. My first drafts are often wrong but the diagrams are easily modified as new data comes in.

I’ve written out the steps to installing the software, using nested bullet lists. And, naturally, cross-linked to the modules when relevant. I can throw in login names and passwords. I’ve used footnotes, and tables, and hyperlinks to both online documentation and the actual web-based interfaces to the system. I’m confident that SdiDesk will become the dashboard that I will work through.

I’ve also seen its many flaws. SdiDesk has many rough edges, bugs, abandoned and unfinished roads, and is distinctly ugly. But, frankly, I haven’t been this excited by, this in love with, it since the release of 0.2. I’m definitely back into it in a major way. (Of course, I don’t have any time 🙂

So if you don’t know what I’m talking about because you haven’t yet checked out SdiDesk; but you work in an environment where you need to cope with a lot of information including information that is list, table and graph-shaped; and you’re a smart, if a little disorganized, individual; then you know what to do.

Yeah, there are still dozens of things that suck or are aesthetically challenged. Yep, I’m a slow and inattentive developer. But, to misquote Tati Quebra-Barraco, SdiDesk “is ugly but it’s fashionable”.

(And works off your pendrive.)