All entries for Monday 22 October 2007

October 22, 2007

Week 4 Report

22/10/2007 - Term 1, Week 4 (Start of)


In relation to the proposed tasks of week 3, the following work has been completed: 

  • An SVN repository has been set up (Task 1), this may be found at
  • Time has been spent working on a Javascript prototype (Task 3). The aims of the prototype have been to research into the potential capabiltities of Javascript and to help me learn how to use it. Little functionality has been produced, but it has been useful in giving an overall impression of what the final score editor may look like. Screenshots may be found here.
  • Time has been spent researching possible structures for storing and transferring musical scores. Specifically, a previously developed format called MusicXML is being researched.
  • A webserver has been set up that is compatible with Ruby on Rails. This will be used to host the final website and may be useful in terms of beta versions or prototypes that may be user-tested. It may be found at
  • I have also been dedicating some thought towards changing the general aim of the system. At the moment the aim is:

To develop a web-application to allow musicians to easily and intuitively create and edit their own sheet-music online.

However, it may be more effective to instead, aim the system towards being a community in which people can share their musical scores with each other, perhaps rating each other's score and offering advice to one another. The essential requriements of the system would remain unchanged (An online sheet-music editor would still be included for users) but it would almost certainly mean more work in terms of the rest of the website. The situation remains undecided.

  • Further requirements analysis of the system has yet to have begun (Task 2).
Progress Evaluation

Task Completion - In general, the amount of work completed this week was less than expected. Most notably I didn't get around to beginning the requirements/use-case analyses despite intending to seven days ago. However, this is due to the new uncertainty in the aim of the system and to the unexpectedly large number of hours spent experimenting with Javascript, and so is justifiable. Overall, progress is adequate, especially considering how early it is in the project lifespan. It is important to have completed these tasks by the end of this week however, which should mark the end of the Analysis phase.

Time - The time spent working was mostly in-line with the proposed schedule for the week, with the exception of a few hours where other commitments had to take priority. In future, taking these sort of potential commitments into account should lead to a more realistic schedule. Overall, I spent about the same number of hours working as I intended.

In conclusion, I would say I overestimated the amount of work I was capable of doing in the proposed time, especially when it came to research work (e.g. learning Javascript). In the future, it would be better to allow myself more time on research-type tasks.

Current Project State

Beginning of the second week of the two weeks allocated for system analysis (as laid out in the specification). All tasks previously associated with this phase need to have been completed by the end of the week.

Some time also needs to be spent considering what data structures will be useful for the storage and transfer of music scores.

Week 4 Tasks
  1. Finalise decision on how the aim of the project should be changed (if at all). Justify the choice.
  2. Decide on and complete appropriate analysis: Requirements Analysis and/or Use-Case Analysis.
  3. Finalise the decision on what tools will be used. Justify the choice.
  4. Research potential data structures for use within the system.
  5. Consider how the graphics in the system (musical symbols) will be obtained.
Week 4 Working Schedule
Monday 14-16 2hrs
Tuesday 09-12 3hrs
Wednesday 11-12,13-17 5hrs
Thursday 10-12,13-14 3hrs
Friday 10-11:30 1.5hrs
Saturday 10-14 4hrs

Total no. hours: 18.5

Further Comments
  • The emphasis of this week is on the completion of the Analysis phase of development. After this milestone it should be possible to start the Design and Implementation of the system. It is important that documentation is produced this week that justifies and finalises the aim of the system, the requirements of the system and the tools that will be used throughout the rest of the development of the system. 
  • If it becomes clear that the full completion of the Analysis phase of development is too ambitious, I will complete as many of the tasks as I can this week and the project timeline will be re-designed next Monday to factor in a further week of Analysis. At some point in the week it may transpire that more analysis-tasks need to be completed than originally specified here anyway.

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