Last year for our open ed conference here at Utah State I built an application called 51weeks to help preserve the presentations and to help people interact. Tomorrow it will be used at ICLS in the Netherlands. The hardest part about these kinds of applications is life cycle management. I am frequently asked to build a 'quick and dirty' application. Years of experience has taught me that there is no such thing. Anytime you are asked to build an application you are being asked to commit to keep it alive. What inevitably happens is that someone sees it and assumes that it only needs a few tweaks to adapt it to a new use. If your code is to dirty then forget it. Adaptation almost always runs you into new errors that you have to deal with in new ways.
Whenever creating an application it is always worth the time to get tests in place. It is always worth the time to think about the architecture - not the architecture for the entire system - but rather the big picture. How will the ap...Continue Reading →