After many years of watching technology trends, release cycles, and waves of innovation wash through the business community, I realized, along with many others, that there are some simple principles of software development which I have termed the Point-Oh-No Rule (thanks Gary!) and the Rule of Threes.

The Point-Oh-No! Rule states that any major release of anything will suck. That means version 1.0 (one-point-oh-no!) or 2.0 (two-point-oh-no!).

The Rule of Threes states that: “the third version of anything will be the point at which designers will generally Get It Right.” And that rule is fractal in nature, so the third minor version of the third major version (version 3.03) will be Really Really Good.

Combining these rules leads me to believe that Ray Ozzie’s new Groove 3.0 will be the release that will finally Get It Right….except that this first version (3.0 or three-point-oh-no!) means that people should only use it carefully and not trust huge amounts of data to it until it hits at least 3.01 or 3.02 or preferably, you guessed it, 3.03.

For an interesting Q&A with Ray, you might wish to read this article where he talks about the major architectural flaw of Lotus Notes – centralized, expensive servers with massively complex authorization schemes that preclude virtual association and collaboration.

Having used and deployed Notes across six independently owned organizations a few years back, I can attest to the complexities that were involved. It was insane.

I have heard bad things about 1.x and 2.x of Groove and I look forward to hearing how 3.x is going to work.

But I also look forward to the open source community developing a much simpler, collaborative tool set that can be deployed quickly and easily across all platforms that will not have the heavy enterprise and security focus that Groove obviously has in it.