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Help!

Fred wants an e-commerce website. He commissions Jo, a freelancer who is a good web
designer and knows a little about programming (from an extremely sub-standard
university), to create the website for him. Jo sets to work creating lots of pretty HTML
pages with calls to as-yet-unwritten PHP scripts mixed in with the HTML and Javascript.
To explain what these scripts are supposed to do, Jo inserts drastically brief comments
into the design pane of Dreamweaver. Of course, they are scattered across various
irrelevant places in the source code. There is no documentation or functional/technical
specs of any kind. Neither would Jo know what these were if one of them wrestled him to
the ground and jumped up and down on him. Jo commissions his friend, Henry the freelance
programmer, to write the PHP.
I've just started work as a freelance programmer. My only source of work (hopefully this
will not last) is my friend Henry. As my first job, he assigns me the PHP coding for
Fred's website (before either of us know what a mess Jo is going to create). I am
formally committed to this, and could not turn it down under the circumstances anyway.
Working with Jo's mess is, of course, impossible. When I explained my difficulties to
Henry (who went to a better university and understands due process), he forwarded my
concerns to Jo. Jo has now sent me the following:

###
Can you be a little more specific about what you want?
My idea is to send you a word document specifying everything a page is supposed to do. I
will also send you a graphic with the pages a customer will go thought to make an order
(typical).
Let me know if this would suffice
###
How can I explain to him the nature and necessity of Functional specs->Design->Code, and
that of clean separation of code (PHP) from data (HTML) ?
Jul 17 '05 #1
4 1843

On 2-Jun-2004, "Khen Chzakuv" <no**@none.co m> wrote:
(snip)
Working with Jo's mess is, of course, impossible. When I explained my
difficulties to
Henry (who went to a better university and understands due process), he
forwarded my
concerns to Jo. Jo has now sent me the following:

###
Can you be a little more specific about what you want?
My idea is to send you a word document specifying everything a page is
supposed to do. I
will also send you a graphic with the pages a customer will go thought to
make an order
(typical).
Let me know if this would suffice
###
How can I explain to him the nature and necessity of Functional
specs->Design->Code, and
that of clean separation of code (PHP) from data (HTML) ?


Welcome to the real world. You should be able to work with the documentation
Jo proposes. It's rare in small programming projects, especially web sites,
to have any kind of formal design process. If you want formal specs you will
probably have to create them yourself.

--
Tom Thackrey
www.creative-light.com
tom (at) creative (dash) light (dot) com
do NOT send email to ja*********@wil lglen.net (it's reserved for spammers)
Jul 17 '05 #2
Tom Thackrey wrote:
Welcome to the real world.
Thank you :-)
You should be able to work with the documentation
Jo proposes.
That's the problem - for practical purposes, he doesn't propose any.
It's rare in small programming projects, especially web sites,
to have any kind of formal design process. If you want formal specs you will
probably have to create them yourself.


I can take that. The biggest problem is handling the mess he's already written.
Jul 17 '05 #3

"Khen Chzakuv" <no**@none.co m> wrote in message
news:xn******** *******@news.ac tcom.co.il...

<snip>
Can you be a little more specific about what you want?
My idea is to send you a word document specifying everything a page is supposed to do. I will also send you a graphic with the pages a customer will go thought to make an order (typical).
Let me know if this would suffice
###
How can I explain to him the nature and necessity of Functional specs->Design->Code, and that of clean separation of code (PHP) from data (HTML) ?


And your problem is?? ;)

Yes, I've been there many times. And it really has little to do with the
caliber of Univ. It more has to do with thought process, training and "where
they are coming from".

Jo is a designer. Not a programmer. Designer are not trained to be
programmers. That only happens with experience, if your lucky.

I've worked on multi-million dollar projects with designer just like Jo.

It took me 2 weeks to get the flow and concepts out these designers. The
client was pissed (we worked by the hour), but, after a calm walk through of
what we were given from the designers, and the process we had to go through
to get what "they" imaged, the client understood and then chastised the
designers and made them pay for some of our hours. They learned the hard way
as well. :)

You have to read between the lines. You have to look at Jo's images, what
notes he has, and put the puzzle together yourself.

Yes, lot more work, many more hours. I hope your doing this by the hour and
not a flat fee.

If not, you just had a learning experience. You would do this again, will
you! ;)

If you like, I can lend a hand and try to interrupt what you were given. I
work cheap, not free.

Good luck.

Walter
Jul 17 '05 #4
Ken
On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 09:41:48 GMT, "Khen Chzakuv" <no**@none.co m>
wrote:
Fred wants an e-commerce website. He commissions Jo, a freelancer who is a good web
designer and knows a little about programming (from an extremely sub-standard
university), to create the website for him. Jo sets to work creating lots of pretty HTML
pages with calls to as-yet-unwritten PHP scripts mixed in with the HTML and Javascript.


Hello: New php-er here.

I have seen this message before virtually word for word in another
newsgroup maybe a year ago, which leads me to believe that it might be
from a class assignment?

Ken
Jul 17 '05 #5

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