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[chapter How and why we did it]
[quote "Keep it simple"-- ]
The whole idea for the project came from a simple problem: How to have control over editions of textbooks.
At Caelum we used to have huge OpenOffice files and versioning system, like cvs or svn. The big problem
is that **odt** is a binary format, so any simultaneous editing would create a conflict (a really hard one
to solve because you don't know where the file was changed).
[title Why not simply use LaTeX?]
Even though LaTeX is incredible powerfull, we also wanted to have Html output. Even using some third party
LaTeX to Html conversor the result wouldn't be as we wanted. Usually these tools doesn't allow us to customize
the output.
Besides, LaTeX can drive you nuts with its heavy syntax and crazy style sheets.
We wanted a really simple syntax and LaTeX was far more complex than necessary. It would slow down production
and our textbooks wouldn't be really standardized. We needed contraints and LaTex would not provide it to us.
These and other causes drove us into this project.
[title Development process]
Tubaina was developed using an agile methodology called Extreme Programming
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_Programming ).
We were couched by Mariana Vivian Bravo, grad student on agile methodologies at "Universidade de São Paulo".
Since [label Extreme Programming]XP[/label] is a incremental methodology, we had Tubaina running and generating
some Html after the first week. It was really interesting to have something working so soon because this was
Caelum's Trainees first project.
Java was choosen because it's portable, and is Caelum's courses focus. Also, Caelum has developed frameworks
( like VRaptor - http://vraptor.org ) using it.
Developing Tubaina was really fun. Most programmers of the team had almost no previous contact with XP, Design
Patterns, CSS, XHTML and text parsing. So, learning was in focus every single day.