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Future of IsMyWebsite May 12, 2011

Posted by Brendan McNiff (cobrastrike) in general.
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There has been much debate lately in public forums, and quite a bit of propaganda as well leading to speculation of exactly what has been happening.

Since one side seems to be constantly on display, I will show the other.

First thing first though, no matter what internal debates may be happening there have been numerous talks on how to make it to where we can best serve all clients. As with any multi-national team there are inherent things that we will all disagree on. With that being said, the development team as it stands was not looking to hijack anything as so many have falsely and ignorantly tried to state. The only mission in the decision to develop a completely re-coded version was to make one that could be easily expanded, repaired, and secured. It was decided that Matt was not going to be involved as we were looking to have something to present as an alternative, and because we were trying to get away from the idea that there should be such a degree of modularization that it made simple bug fixes take three times as long.

No matter what direction is chosen in the end, it will be one that keeps clients in mind. We are looking to increase reliability while also giving you more flexibility. It is unknown exactly how we can achieve this between the “sides” at this time, but one way or another it will be accomplished.

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1. Matheus (Reallifegame) - May 12, 2011

Hello Brendan,

I like your idea of re-coding all the system, I have an idea for you that may work, that I’ve been testing today:

Every page is an PHP script in a folder and also import some sort of module, an code snippet that could be easily embedded (shared) and modified.

Contact me in Skype in case you get interested: matheus_pratta

2. Bryan Bartlett - May 12, 2011

Brendan,

Thank you for posting your views. Any debate needs to have open dialog between both sides of an issue.

Now, as far as the “hijacking” look at it this way. Perception always outpaces reality. Place yourself in Matts position…

Say you spent years creating a program. you needed additional help. after a time, your help starts recreating your work in their own image, off site, and without giving you even visual access to what is being worked on. Not only that, they did so at a time there was still work needing to be done, leaving your site with a few holes that need patched.

I submit to you, that any sane person, without access to additional information, will come to the conclusion that the other party was in the middle of corporate theft. Brandon, if it was anyone else who had done this, perhaps someone with less morals than you have, how easy would it be to create a new version on a new node and take over the entire client base, leaving the original owner with a broken system and no clients?

I submit then to you, that open communication from the beginning, not only between you and Matt, but you, Matt and the clients would have kept that perception from imposing over reality.

I have one side only, thats Ismywebsite. ive given over a thousand dollars over the years to help ensure its success, and I will be here until the day the doors are shut. I do not believe that exclusion of ANY member of the dev team, no matter their issues, is a good idea. And dont think that i will always take Matts side on everything. If i feel he is in the wrong, such as the posting of private messages, ill be the first to state such.

Personally, I think both of you need either a lesson in diplomacy, or use a mediator. -.-

If you have anything you wish to discuss with me private, my email is always open at valareos@gmail.com I am open to listening and talking to you just as easilly as I do with Matt.

3. Marc - May 12, 2011

There are no sides. Just different visions.

4. J,R,D, Ltd - May 12, 2011

I had a comment but now it’s gone, oh well.

Can the dev team at least give Matt read-only access to the site and files even if you still don’t want him to help write the code?

Deltik - May 13, 2011

We tried that once. The result was criticism from Matt.

ismywebsite - May 14, 2011

You’ve never let me see the source code.

Also, I asked some questions which you didn’t have answers to. Namely why you changed a lot of things to be just a little different (same basic principle), when such changes are completely unnecessary.

I also pointed out problems with a few design decisions, which I believed you overlooked.

As none of my feedback (call it criticism if you want) was well received, I decided to post it here.

5. Brendan McNiff (cobrastrike) - May 13, 2011

Work on a new system has been halted pending an agreement.

Bryan: Matt is not the only one that has put years of time into this service. For any member that has been here for a substantial amount of time, they will at least know of me. I have been working with Matt for over three years trying to make IMW the best it can be. When there are perpetual issues, sometimes removing the commonality if only for a short period of time, can help to solve or at the very least reveal the issues. There has been no “corporate theft” or infringement of any intellectual property laws. I can gladly refer you to someone who can explain those to you.

6. Bryan Bartlett - May 13, 2011

I know you been working on it for a while, I also have this strange memory of this not being the first time Matt has been shoved aside for the devs view of things (not 100% sure if it was you involved, but for a time Matt was forced to step aside from ALL aspects of IMW) So forgive me for being cynical.

If you can work with the owner of IMW in a constructive manner, then i got no issue with you. if not, then i will be the first to raise my voice in concern, Just as I would for you if I saw or felt you were being treated unfairly by a client or fellow dev.

In the end, if my raising the red flag causes the owner and devs to finally come together again and move foward in a unified manner, then my job is done. I apologize if I misinterpreted your actions, but I will not apologize for voicing my concerns.

If you need any help, Im here. My php skills im afraid are a few years behind standard as Matt explained to me, but I am good at people relations if you need help organizing client complaints and dealing with that side while you and the devs work on the backend

7. ismywebsite - May 13, 2011

Due to all the developers preferring tabs (justified or not), I am switching the official coding standard to tabs on the following conditions:

– To maximize our use of screen space without compromising long-term readability, the official tab width is 2 characters. This, along with a traditional screen width of 80 characters, is used to determine when to word wrap comments. (You can use whatever width for everything else.) For those with a wider screen, this allows for having two files side-by-side and easily reading both, which is very handy.

– Spaces are still used for alignment (for example, when you need declared variables to line up). I believe the main argument for tabs was to allow flexibility in setting the tab width, so using spaces will allow for that flexibility.

– No file will ever mix tabs and spaces for indentation. If you are wishing to use tabs, you must convert the entire file. Be careful in doing this, since double spaces are used in alignment, and also in log entries, and also sometimes sent to emails (just as a few examples). To avoid unpredictable results, only the double spaces used for indentation should be changed. It’s best if everything is human-verified. I’ve always run into some surprises.

– Developers are okay with cleaning up the occasional stray space as I adjust to this new way of coding. I haven’t coded in tabs since I did Python two years ago.

– We stop arguing over trivial little things and accept the remaining coding standard (which despite the fact I had no input into your coding standard – now nearly exactly matches the one you are using anyways, including brace placement).

– The version 5 developers focus their efforts away from reprogramming what I’ve already done, and onto new projects which can be moved into the current version once an arrangement is worked out. (I expect to resume the discussion on Saturday.)

– The developers will not lose their motivation or feel this as any sort of loss of ownership over the project. In the future, when the developer run into confusion, they will be sure to email me with a numbered list of issues, or arrange a time to talk via email. When accepting a project, they will ensure they know how to do what is required of them ahead of time before making any promises.

Marc - May 13, 2011

Seems fair to me, for both parties.

8. ismywebsite - May 13, 2011

Update: I’ve now got a detailed schematic of the volunteer panel permissions system up on the wiki. All that’s missing are some final details on a few of the classes which would be used. I’ll have those up hopefully tomorrow and if things work out we should be able to start coding it very soon.

It’s literally step by step. If you don’t understand something, make sure to email me. Also, it’s a wiki so you can feel free to join the discussion or add details in if you know them.

Also, this has been an eye opening experience as to just how messy the classes were becoming. Granted, most of the confusing decoy ones (for example Server and Stub and StubReply) were not mine. I’m working hard to clean that up, and get details of every class set up on the wiki. Bear with me since there are ~50 of them.

9. Bryan Bartlett - May 13, 2011

Glad to see things are moving foward

10. Matheus - May 15, 2011

Now im happy with Matts decision, he is taking part of imw dev team and not waiting they do all work… =)

Sorry about my grammar, im on mobile right now…

11. ismywebsite - May 20, 2011

Be sure to thank the new development team for their offer. 🙂


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