A Productive Week and Weekend

Surprisingly, last week ended very nicely. A couple of big projects at work were finally put to bed, and I even got all my timesheets up to date before leaving. Also this weekend I got the bulk of work done on a website Content Management System (CMS) that I’ve been (re)writing for a contract job. The idea there was to make something fairly generic that could be written once and then plugged into multiple systems with minimal work yet still be modified easily if something custom was needed. In my course of working with the design company I’ve done this same sort of project about 4-5 times, each having their own twist. When I’d done work before it was done specifically for the case of that one client, so adapting it to another site that was always a case of either the pain in the ass of retrofitting the code or rewriting it from scratch. Even though I know (or at least, found out) that you should never rewrite code from scratch, I ended up doing it simply because the various projects were just too different to nicely plug one system into another. Also the one system I did write that was fairly generic was done so long ago it was just painful to work with (and so painful in fact I put it right in the code to not retrofit anything more onto it.

Anyway, this time it’ll be different (knock on wood). Writing this once, doing it right and (in theory anyway) having a fair amount of time to kick the tires and make sure the system is solid and making sure it’s generic enough to plug into a system easily. In theory now the design guys whom I contract to can just say “and we can make your site editable by you for an extra $X”, where $X it the cost of me going in and installing the system to a webhost. The issue before was to handle this they’d have to send me the details, I’d quote on it, we’d go back and forth on features, etc. This all took time and effort on everyones part, and they weren’t able to give the client an immediate answer for such a “simple” addition. Now it’ll be a generic widget.

Anyway, it’s been going well, I have the framework of all the page editing and user management done, allowing what I think is a fairly generic system I’m fairly proud of. Hopefully there won’t be too many “oh, but we thought you mean you wanted this” moments this time 🙂

So yea, all in all a good weekend, nice to end Sunday night feeling fairly accomplished for the last few days. Hopefully this week will be just as good.

Side note… I’m still looking for a free or cheap (under $300) laptop that doesn’t totally suck for use on the train, if anyone has a line on anything or anyone (maybe someone upgrading?) please let me know.

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