Friday, August 25, 2006

Yet Another Productivity Challenge Delay

Last week I gave myself another Productivity Challenge to churn out a good quality web application in the shortest time possible. Among the insane list of things to be finished in 6 days, I only manage to complete 2 and included a lot of stuff which is not in the list (it is not that they are not important, just that it kinda slip my mind).

The first thing I tackle is the feature to allow users to contribute, comment or review. It seems reasonable since I already had the interface to display them, so it’s time to have an interface to feed in the data. While working on this, I have to complete Div folding since I don’t want the data entry screen to obstruct the information display (a toggle button to show and hide the data entry screen). But one thing leads to another, as I need users before data entry. Thus I need to create a user table, which require an User Signup module, which require an Account Activation module, which require ACL for access control and Captcha to counter bot spam, and also a log in and log out module, not to mentioned “I forgot my password” module. Before I could finish my first task, I have to complete all these things under the hood of User Management. Finally I manage to complete my first Comment module just a few minutes ago, and still have Contribute and Review to go (but it should be easier from now).

Day 5-10
  • Comment Module
  • User Management Module: Signup, ACL, Captcha, Login, Logout, I forgot Password, Account Activation (Dropped)
  • More CSS
In between, I found that there are 3 tasks which are extremely time consuming
  • CSS and cross-browser compatibility
  • Learning the CAKE PHP Framework’s in and out when using more and more of its feature
  • On the go bug fixing and testing
CSS is really quite a beast and more of a nightmare when it involves cross browser compatibility. I can only care for IE 6 and Firefox 1.5, and I wonder how it looks like in Safari and Opera. God bless ...

Sometimes it can be quite an annoyance when the new framework lacks good documentation, but luckily the groups is quite active and I can still drill into the codes to find what I want at times. The framework is still young, but promising, though the adoption rate is still considerably low and the future is uncertain. I still have some difficulty finding the right way to do things, figuring how to access certain information and have to build my own module on certain tasks.

I think I read somewhere testing and bug fixing should consist of 70% of the overall time of the project, where coding is just 20%. I do agree the process is extremely time consuming and inevitable, perhaps it’s time for me to adopt some automatic testing tool, at least some unit testing.

So, how much more time do I need to finished the web application for 1st BETA. Probably around 10 days (or more). But lets push the limit slightly, as I would like to complete it before my Gunung Charlie climb next Friday, and I am busy for the weekends with Paintball War. Minus my computer teaching class, I have around 3 days to get the rest of the list up. Maybe not complete the whole things, perhaps until a satisfactory state which allow seamless users participation and contribution.

Next 3 days
  • Comement
  • Review
  • Contribute
  • Submit Links
  • Submit Pictures

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