Martin Burns yumyum at easyweb.co.uk
Mon Feb 21 06:13:42 CST 2005

William wrote:

>> Right now, I don't know whether the imperfections in this - or to be
>> honest, pretty much any - new design are fundamental or can be resolved
>> through incremental improvement. And I don't think we *can* know until
>> it's a live site and we've lived with it for a bit.

>If you can't tell after living and breathing it for the last month or two
>during the construction process, you'll never know.

Neither of us have used it as a live site. It's not a valid comparison.

> Let's get
>the community in to help, big time, and let's make a huge thing of it.

See, I'm all behind this, but not at the expense of throwing away what we
have without launching it.

>Let's make it something people *want* to get involved in and get it deployed
>*fast, fast, fast*.  I'm not giving timescales

To suggest any such thing without an actual concrete plan to decide on is
handwaving to the point of daydream. Do a breakdown of steps please, and
estimate how long each will take.

When estimating, please bear the following in mind:

1) Getting from comp to where we are has taken the best part of 2 years

2) From starting work on HTML to here has taken since before Christmas

3) Whenever anyone farts round here we go back a (another) month

4) As you're usually keen to point out, we're not working on this fulltime
- real life can and often does intervene.

5) In the recruiting volunteers stakes, having a track record of throwing
away several months' of volunteer work a week before launching is not
really an attractive poster.

This is not an organisation that is blessed with the Completer-Finisher
gene. Nor is it one that moves quickly on anything. To start again from
scratch will take months and months and months.

I'll give you a fairly optimistic head start:
1) Agreeing to do competition: a week
2) Competition rules/guidelines/standards: a week
3) Assuming pre-announcing of competition in 1 & 2, competition run time:
4 weeks
4) Deciding on results: a week
5) Deciding on which bits to pull from entries and collating to final
design: 2 weeks.

That's over 2 months, before you start implementing. Factor in people
taking breaks at Easter and you're looking at June before implementation.

> Let's do it now before it's really way too late, because imo launching what
> we have now will get us laughed at.

Dude, we *are already being laughed at*. Duke Nukem Forever? Having an
evolt redesign as vapourware for nigh on 2 years and then propose
extending it, merrily waving hands at timescales, is the worst possible
course of action.

> Look at
> stopdesign, adaptive path: lush.  Why can't we look as good as these sites?

Because they have teams of highly skilled, *full time* presentation layer
designers on staff and we don't? Because those sites are the shopwindow
that puts food on the table for the owners? "Fail to complete the site
quickly, the business dies at birth and we're all jobhunting" is a damned
strong motivation.

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