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gary.turner
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Interesting blog entry from Richard Rutter.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Verschwindende
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I'm an awful designer so I'd

I'm an awful designer so I'd be glad to properly code pages for a designer that would let go of that rein. As if that would ever happen. Tongue

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Ah Glagnut haven't read their

Ah Glagnut haven't read their blog in ages.

What he's saying is somewhat obvious really, in fact wish I had blogged it myself as I recall saying exactly the same years ago buried away in a thread deep in the archives here.

The project I have been part of for the last few years started out on really great lines in that it comprised a core development team of three; one graphic designer, one backend coder, and me fronting the frontend Puzzled As a team it worked so well as we all had autonomy for our areas of expertise but could work very closely together defining what each needed to accomplish, work space layout was paramount in importance with us each having large wide desktops arranged in a square two on each side and one on the end, each having adequate separation and isolation to be able to concentrate but being in close proximity allowed for extreme ease of communication when necessary. Development ran so smoothly due to us being able to concentrate on our respective areas while being able to ensure each knew what the others were working on. Graphics chap and I would check over his proofs, together we could agree what was possible and not; likewise the backend coder had major responsibility for DB schema and controller type functions where the frontend had requirements we could directly work together producing necessary views and objects I might require.

One thing though - not remarked on - in an ideal structure with specialist expertise one requires an orchestrating factor, there is a pivotal point where all disciplines meet, what I experienced was that it fell naturally to myself running the frontend to provide this orchestration - not I might add due to my superior skills or due to my huge ego, if anything my skills in comparison to the other two were the weaker - but that my role was the only one that had to have a fairly high degree of knowledge of the other two disciplines given that I essentially worked in all three at some point or another and in that respect was best suited to bringing the final realised and completed effort together, and in guiding the other two disciplines in what the final product required.

I'm tending towards the opinion nowadays that crucially the all round, one man band, self employed web developer, simply does not work effectively and doesn't server the industry well at all. Yes we understand there is a place and a role for this type of person and I count myself as that type but working in teams with responsibility for specialist areas produces the goods and of better quality than the all rounder.

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Chris..S
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I don't reckon it matters too

I don't reckon it matters too much if one person works in two areas. I think the bigger deal is a realistic appraisal of their skills in that area. Things go awry when someone overrates their skill in the secondary area or (more likely) doesn't think it deserves the same level of attention or are unwilling to appreciate the issues that area is trying to solve.

I have more problems with backend coders who believe html is just syntax to get a page looking like they want. They don't see and don't seem to be interested in context, progressive enhancement, etc. They know css is a "good thing™" so they're happy using styled DIVs for everything.

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'We' used to moan, joke, cry,

'We' used to moan, joke, cry, about the graphic designer as an entity in the web development process, recently my experience has suggested that indeed it's the backend chap with highly specialised and esoteric skills in a particular discipline that now holds sway over development and yes they largely do seem to regard the frontend process and it's various languages as something requiring little by way of effort or attention, markup is simply a process used to output their hugely convoluted classes, as for CSS it's a buzz word everyone uses it but lets be honest how difficult can it be? 279 properties, memorize or use a cheat sheet it's after all only a declarative language, slap your properties in a file and it's done.

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gary.turner
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Hammer, meet nail

Hugo, you and Chris have hit the nail on the head. The front end guy, or a front-end competent PM, should be the director; bringing the disparate parts together to form the page.

I consider the graphic designer to be important, but not critical to creating a usable and accessible site. S/he is more a desirable accessory than an integral requirement, and must submit to front-end developer control. (As much as they cannot believe that to be true. Tongue )

I have become more and more convinced that mid-tier programmers should not touch the actual html, period; full stop. Programming logic should be totally separated from the DB and front-end. Logic should be a black box, orthogonal to the front and back ends, touching only at the well defined APIs.

cheers,

gary

If your web page is as clever as you can make it, it's probably too clever for you to debug or maintain.

Hugo
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Quote: I have become more and

Quote:

I have become more and more convinced that mid-tier programmers should not touch the actual html, period; full stop. Programming logic should be totally separated from the DB and front-end. Logic should be a black box, orthogonal to the front and back ends, touching only at the well defined APIs.

This is it exactly and we know that there is a method to describe this approach, called MVC; now what is vaguely amusing is that these mid tier programmers who claim all sorts of high faluting skills such as 'schema design' 'object orientated programming', 'query optimization', 'application design & programming', etc ad nausiem and who would claim to understand the MVC approach simply don't or can't seem to put it into practise, and I'm thinking of a very real concrete example which leaves me always wondering how an application can get to the stage where it has strayed so badly from this path that to backtrack is to have to virtually re-write the API. If one points this out, even offer examples of how things might be approached so that my function is eased and allowed to proceed without hitting barriers all the time you get met with a feeling of contempt or resentment?

Frontend code mixed with programming logic is an absolute evil and should not be tolerated.

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