design for quality
I'm on vacation this week, up at beautiful Lake Pend O'Reille, trying to keep my kids from drowning themselves or falling on sharp rocks or passing out from heat stroke - we're in the upper 90's (Fahrenheit), and it occurred to me that perhaps the most relaxing part of this trip so far was the 9 hour drive up.
I've been musing about the "systems" we, as people, work within daily.
Thinking specifically on the system implicit in providing web development and design services, the following points come to mind as contributing to a healthy system:
- No us/them dichotomy. Our clients are part of our systems (or we are part of theirs), and seeking for client feedback regarding "our" processes is informative and essential.
Last week I discovered I'd made a goof and transposed the order of month and day in a batch file running MySQL backups on a Windows server. So, instead of mybak20070523.sql being followed by mybak20070524.sql, I had about 90 files in order like mybak20072305.sql then mybak20072306.sql.
After having been on a hiatus of sorts this last year, a new Drupal Newsletter (for June 2007) was delivered via email today and also appears on the front page of Drupal.org, and it bears an article I wrote!
The article "How Not to Render Your Site Obsolete in Six Months" was culled from my experiences an administrator of a 60+ multi-site installation of Drupal, where upgrade paths can get complicated...
I was giving a presentation ("A Web 2.0 Vocabulary") for the Idaho Library Association's SW Regional Conference today, and as I was discussing how libraries might incorporate social bookmarking (particularly del.icio.us) into their inward-facing and out-ward facing services, one of the attendees said, "We're going to be doing a page for young kids on our web site that is being put together in Drupal, and should we use del.icio.us for..." And where that goes is not this story.
I've spent the last six months searching out the best development environment for coding in PHP, specifically with work related to the Drupal content management framework.
Screenshot of Komodo Edit, decked out in my custom color scheme: charcoal rainbow
In my capacity as web master for the Idaho Library Association (which is technically not part of my Dotted i work, but instead a product of a professional affiliation) I recently redesigned and launched a new, Drupal-powered version of that organization's web site.
I'm rather proud of the theme of the site, which changes depending on the season (summer or winter at the moment, until I come across some great Idaho landscapes for fall and spring at wide aspect ratios).
I thought it couldn't be done. I'd searched for it across the web. Terms such as mysql query multiple databases turned up nuthin' - that's right, not just nothing, but _flat-out_nuthin'_.
Today I was speaking with Matt Westgate of Lullabot about the challenges of managing 60+ Drupal web sites on a single codebase with each site having its own database, and Matt (who has a Drupal book coming out) mentioned liking MySQL for the fact that you could query multiple databases with a single query.