- danwebb.net – The No Shit Guide To Supporting OpenID In Your Applications — A very practical guide to rigging up the basics of OpenID in Rails.
Tagged as: rubyonrails ruby rails openid authentication programming tutorial howto
- Ryan’s Scraps: What’s New in Edge Rails: A Better Way to Organize Your Helpers — Sod the improvement, the original suggestion is something I’d never thought of. Bye bye, overcrowded application_helper.rb …
Tagged as: rails helpers rubyonrails
- FoxySofts – Another World — Another World GBA port, ROM image – completely free, and apparently "official"…
Tagged as: games gba retro platform
- Web 2.0 Technologies: GeoKit: a plugin for location-based Rails apps — Geokit is a Rails plugin for building location-based apps. It provides geocoding, location finders, and distance calculation in one cohesive package.
Tagged as: ruby rails rubyonrails maps geo geocoding data plugin
- How to back up and restore your important Mac OS X 10.4 files — …including a nice detailed section on Mail.app. I’m going to need that very, very soon.
Tagged as: apple osx mail backup howto
- Mocha Quickstart — A quick guide to getting started with Mocha – the Ruby library for mocking objects in tests.
Tagged as: mocha testing mock rails ruby rubyonrails tdd
- Mike Clark’s Weblog – Attachment Fu — Mike Clark runs over the basics of RIck Olson’s attachment_fu plugin. A nice abstraction – will come in handy, for sure.
Tagged as: rails ruby rubyonrails image upload plugin tutorial
- mactactic – buying guide & replacement estimates – current mac release summary — Highly useful: analyses when an Apple model was last replaced, and tells you if it’s a good time to buy one. Fortunately for what I’m looking for, it’s "still good value"…
Tagged as: mac apple hardware computer shopping reference
- NoLimits Roller Coaster Simulation – The Ultimate Roller Coasters Simulator for PC and Mac — NoLimits is a rollercoaster simulator. It looks awfully fun – especially the track designer
Tagged as: games play simulation physics rollercoaster
- A v-2 bookshelf | Adam Greenfield’s design resources (and a few lifehacks) — Lots of great stuff listed here – worth going back to, for sure.
Tagged as: books design reference interaction cities urbanism
23 February 2007
In a recent post about offshoring development work, Ryan Carson explains that the way you know when you’ve outgrown a freelance developer is this:
Getting bugs fixed and new features implemented starts taking fricken’ forever.
There’s some interesting discussion on the post – about eastern-European wage rates, about freelancing, etcetera – but there was one elephant in the room that nobody really mentioned, and I really think it’s necessary. And that’s this:
once your application is live, everything will take longer.
Whilst you’re in the build process, you can turn on a dime; you can commit new code at a moment’s notice, change the direction of the codebase or even the application, churn out features at a remarkable rate. And, when something doesn’t work (despite having passed the test suite… which you do have, right?), you patch it and move on. It’s a doozy.
Once you’re live, everything changes. You’ve got an active audience using the site – you might even have paying customers. You can’t afford for a single thing to go wrong. New features are no longer about build it, run the tests, check it in, deploy. Your testing on the development box has to be more fastidious. The integration between new functionality and the existing needs to be really well thought through. The design needs to be seamless with that which exists already. And, if it goes live and there’s still one of those totally unforseen bugs… you need to be ready to roll back at a moment’s notice, and put the feature on hold until it’s ready.
This is not new. Some teams are lucky enough to make many deploys daily; most can muster up daily fixes; some might go to weekly. But the effort that a feature requires post-launch is far more than it does pre-launch.
So it’s inevitable – freelancers or no – that the pace of development is going to fall off a bit post-launch. Hopefully, only a bit – but it’s not going to be the same rate unless you’re extremely lucky. You’ve also got to keep your users in mind, and break them into new functionality slowly.
It’s a hard transition, going from the development site to live. To you, as an owner, a developer, it feels like the same product – so the change in pace is a bit frustrating. And it’s important to keep the pace as fast as possible. Some fixes are critical, and need to go out the door the instant they’re done; others can wait a little longer – a day or two, if necessary – for release. It’s a rare, focused, hugely talented team that can splurge out new features like a machinegun.
Now, I’m sure that the problem is compounded by avoiding maintenance contracts (and so having to re-contract and re-hire) and having developers whose time is precious. But it’s always important to bear in mind that the latency of any web software development shoots up post-launch. So if it does: don’t immediately reach for the outsource button. Take stock, have some patience, and see what the product needs – how often it needs to be released, how often it needs to be improved. And then you can make that call a little better informed.
The other golden rule, incidentally, is never deploy on Friday. I hope the reasoning behind that is obvious.
- The Sound of Interaction Design (Schulze & Webb) — This presentation is on how a new generation wants social, creative, networked products, and how design can help not by identifying tasks to be productively performed, but experiences to be deepened and made fun. S&W on fine, fine form.
Tagged as: interaction product design presentation talk web media future
- Tom Hume: LIFT07: Embracing the real world’s messiness, Fabien Girardin — ‘"Seamful design" seeks to reveal the limits, boundaries and uncertainties of ubicomp: reveals the seams.’ Notes on what sounds like a fascinating talk from LIFT07
Tagged as: design ubicomp interactions
19 February 2007
A straight-up announcement post here: I’m going to be at Future of Web Apps in Kensington for the next two days. I’m reasonably identifiable (redhead, sideburns, goatee) and I’ll probably have a neck-badge that says “Developer” on it.
I think it’ll be even better than last year’s, in part because it’s spread over two days, and there are more gaps for socialising. So if you don’t see me in the hall, grab me outside it. I won’t be around on the Tuesday night due to prior commitments (The Long Blondes at the Astoria, hurrah) but will definitely be up for much in-pub ranting on the Wednesday. So: do say hello if you’re going to be there, and maybe we can bat some ideas around.
- | insert credit | feature | the insercredit.com fukubukuro 2006: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION — It’s the 2006 Tim Rogers fukubukuro. Which translates as: 80,000 words of rambling on games. That said, some of it’s very good – the "epic" section on Gears of War, amongst other things, is most perceptive.
Tagged as: games gaming review year play
- Creating Passionate Users: Don’t make the Demo look Done — How ‘done’ something looks should match how ‘done’ something is.
Tagged as: design development software product management
- Home – World Press Photo — The 2007 contest winners are now up. They’re very impressive.
Tagged as: photography journalism photojournalism news society
- Mountain Goat Software – Selecting the Right Iteration Length for Your Software Development Process – Agile Development Training and Consulting — "the length of time that priorities can go unchanged is a factor in selecting the iteration length."
Tagged as: agile development management software
- Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns…to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap – Gizmodo — Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn’t do what it is supposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself.
Tagged as: gadgets technology cretins blog humor true marketing