Martin Burns yumyum at easyweb.co.uk
Mon Feb 21 09:32:02 CST 2005

William wrote:

>Martin Burns wrote:
>> William wrote:

>>>Let's make it something people *want* to get involved in and get it
>>>*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


So that shows you that *fast fast fast* doesn't happen. And it's the
decision-making that takes the most time, and you're wanting even more...

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

>And where has it gotten us?  The backend work has been fanfuckingtastic, but
>I feel the design we selected isn't doing us any good.

Regardless of the design and what you think about it, the plain fact is
that it's taken months to get where we are now. That will be no different
with any other theme, if it's any greater scope than 'skin with css an
existing template'

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

>That's a rather cruel statement.

Not inaccurate, though

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

>quit the pessimism.

Because, you know, pessimism is what this project has been known for up
until your ray of sunshine last night</sarc>

>> 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.

>Rubbish.  Who's suggesting starting from scratch?  I refuse to believe every
>scrap of work done over the last 8 weeks can't be recycled.

Except for, you know, the design. Which took most of the effort. Unless of
course you *are* talking about a competition that's just a CSS retread -
tweak a colour here, a font there.

> I'll give you a fairly optimistic head start:
>> 1) Agreeing to do competition: a week

>a day.

Not if you're expecting theforum to vote on it. We've rushed votes before
at 4 days, but only when there's been substantial debate 1st.

>> 2) Competition rules/guidelines/standards: a week

>a day.

Lots of discussion needed here. Plus vote.

>> 3) Assuming pre-announcing of competition in 1 & 2, competition run time:
>> 4 weeks

>2-4 weeks

I would expect that entries would have to be full HTML/CSS, not
screenshots, otherwise we're back to guessing games again. Also, one of
the sample pages would need to be Adrian's code guide.

2 weeks going to be long enough to get enough people interested and able
to produce?

>> 4) Deciding on results: a week

>1-3 days

Voting again.

>> 5) Deciding on which bits to pull from entries and collating to final
> design: 2 weeks.

>1-3 days

Lots of debate - see the time taken to discuss Isaac's design back in
2003. And then vote.

>I just nailed it down from your 60-120 days to 18-36 days.

With, I note, zero contingency, and zero expectation that any task will
move one little bit.

Tell you what, if you're that confident, put your money where your mouth is:

Break down the project into milestones, like:
1) Competition winner picked
2) Final design agreed
3) Design implemented as theme, ready for testing

and put hard dates against them. Run the competition. Miss any of the
dates, and the existing teo theme goes live until the competition-result
design is implemented, tested and ready to launch.

> Lower the timescales appropriately and you light a fire under people.

Ahh, I see where I went wrong with this then:
I was just too pessismistic, and didn't have a short enough timescale.

>let's learn from our mistakes,

As long as we don't have to learn how long things take and plan accordingly.

>I'm suggesting a course of action, you're trying to utterly shoot it
down.  Why?

Because you're wanting to throw away several months' work for an
off-chance that would take months longer, when the current teo design
isn't that bad - I think a major issue when you looked at it last (what, 3
days ago?) was that it didn't match some of the cleanliness of Isaac's
design. It's closer now - not there yet, but closer.

I also think that there are some things in the original (<h#> hierarchy
styling, 3 cols on article pages) that could be tweaked, but they're
evolution, not revolution.

If there are IA issues, those will *not be fixed by throwing away the
presentation layer*.

Finally, may I please remind you of the core objectives of this: not to
implement a 'lush' design (which I think would be off-brand anyway), but
to *move hosts & platforms by 1st Feb*. The design is a nice-to-have. And
as far as getting laughed at externally, it's only going to happen if we
boast "ooh look - we did all this work just for a new design" rather than
"We've moved hosts and platforms. This is an interim design, which will
improve, and we can hold our heads up in the company of WASP re ditching


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