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Updates And Thoughts May 18, 2011

Posted by ismywebsite in general.
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I reached a startling realization this morning. If I kept going at the current pace in filling up the wiki (leaving time to help clients and actually develop some features around that), I wouldn’t be finished until mid-July. That wasn’t going to work. I devised to use the assembly line method instead. There are huge results to be gained by grouping like tasks. For example, getting the properties of different classes from the database is done in a very similar way for every database, so by doing them all at once, it only took me 4 solid hours of effort. But most importantly – that battle is over. Doing that on an as-needed basis would likely take twice as long, adding in all the time to load the control panel and get into the zone.

I hope to employ a similar method to add in the resources and methods of each class. Some classes have hundreds of methods, so I’m not sure that will be able to be completed as quickly. I’m aiming to model this after the PHP.net website, which showcases the functions along with examples. My hope is, with all the information in place, readily accessible, with examples, development would be extremely efficient.

I’m also looking to trim some classes. There are 49 standard classes and 7 utility classes. Most are fairly necessary, however there are about 6 left from the project management system that I’m not sure what’s happening to. There’s also a couple from a stub system. I can’t remember what that was about. In the past, I’ve trimmed over 150 files out of the /c/ directory, which were renamed, moved, or had been created by developers with complete disregard for any standard and I couldn’t even understand them anymore. (Not be any version 5 developers – don’t worry.)

As much as the version 5 developers love debating about this kind of stuff (just as much as I do), I couldn’t manage to find with them any classes that really were pointless and wouldn’t help speed things up. So I have to assume that their system with 27 classes is therefore at most 48% complete. If those classes are largely complete, that’s really amazing progress considering they’ve only had a month and a half.

The one thing I’ve also been asking and trying to figure out with them, is what they see as the major advantage of version 5 over version 4 – as in what would be built in version 5 that couldn’t conceivably be added to version 4. It seems they aren’t so sure either.

One thing that was different in version 5 they expressly mentioned was pages of the site being stored in a database format. However, we agreed this was a disadvantage for the reason of not being able to edit with FTP. (Thus limiting all editing to use only one editor, which cannot possibly be the best at everything.) So we decided on a hybrid format, which I’ve almost finished defining now.

So, my first priority is to build a system which I’m not the only one who knows how to program it, and all the information is fairly easily accessible via the wiki. There are a lot of systems in IsMyWebsite – over 100,000 lines of code. (This number is down because I’ve been cleaning things out.) So that’s why I’ve made it really really important that everything is fairly standard. Across tables and classes, all the base and standard methods are identical, with many matching field names. So most of the time, the wiki just serves as a quick refresher on how to use the unique parts of one class or another.

If anything, I think version 5 has really revealed two things:

  1. I need to do a lot better at communicating how to use the system (and I hope the wiki will accomplish that).
  2. The developers are capable of a lot more than they were initially assigned (assuming they know how to use the system). So once things get sorted out, I’m really hoping to make a lot of leaps forward.
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Comments»

1. Kyle G - May 18, 2011

great thinking. I already have a feeling that the wiki will help the devolopment proccess to becone twice as fast.

2. ismywebsite - May 20, 2011

It’ll need to be a lot more than that if we are to get anywhere.


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