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Department of Information Technology

Short walkthrough of the application EthXpert

You need Java to run the application. It has been tested to work with Java 1.5 and 1.6 on MacOS X and Windows XP. Under most configurations it is enough to double click the application icon after downloading it and the program will start.

For Windows only: ethxpertAlpha.exe
For Mac and Windows: ethxpertAlpha.jar

Right click and "Save target..." to download a sketchy example analysis: example.xml

Menu option
New... creates a new project
Open... loads a saved project
Import... imports information from a saved project into the current one. Matches stakeholders, interests and options by exact spelling. This function could become useful if you decide to collaborate over internet.
Save guess what it does?
Save as... Please save as .xml
Close... Close without quitting


Description tab
Informational area to state the problem as clearly as possible. Take the position of problem owner.

Input tab
This is where you add stakeholders and interests. The buttons are self-explanatory. There is only a visual difference between stakeholders and organization until next release.

Click on stakeholders to select them for dragging. Double click on stakeholders to edit properties like name and interests. Double click on the arrows between stakeholders to add considerations about how the interests affect or are affected by the "target" stakeholder.

Empty any input field and press enter to erase that information.

Relations tab
When you have assigned interests to the stakeholders, these will appear here as a matrix. Fill up the cells with any imaginable considerations between stakeholder interests and "target" stakeholders. This is another representation of the input tab in order to support overview.

Press shift while moving the mouse to zoom the current cell.

Options tab
This tab you will recognize as the Autonomy matrix that you have already seen. Make up options for how to deal with the problem. "Add option" simply adds an option. "Fork option" lets you choose a previously created option for adding compromise strategies to it. Fill the cells with all the risks and benefits that the options might have. (Stupidly hidden functionality: To delete one option, click on the option header.)

Press shift while moving the mouse to zoom the current cell.

General suggestions

  • Deleting the information in one input field removes it.
  • Do not hesitate to add seemingly irrelevant information in any of the tabs. You can always delete it later.
  • Do not be afraid of trying out the program by clicking here and there. I have probably forgotten to mention some features.
  • You can use the arrow keys to move around in a matrix.
  • To submit information you have to finish with Enter.
  • For those who like to edit XML - please go ahead and have a look!

Known bugs and issues

  • IMPORTANT! This is a pre-Beta release of the application. Bear with the probable annoyances and remember to save your work often! Make backup copies of your save files regularly, since the application right now accesses the file before it writes. If something goes wrong in saving, the file will end up empty! E-mail if you have any questions.
  • The repainting of the tabs is sometimes erroneous. Just move the mouse around in the window and it will refresh.
  • Only possible to inherit one level of option considerations (fork only checks immediate parent).
  • Yet not possible to reformulate option descriptions (except in XML).
  • Visual tools for pattern matching are not yet implemented.
Updated  2009-12-01 10:40:59 by Mikael Laaksoharju.