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Painless Functional Specifications - Part 1: Why Bother? - Joel

Painless Functional Specifications - Part 1: Why Bother? - Joel
by Joel Spolsky Monday, October 02, 2000 When The Joel Test first appeared, one of the biggest sore points readers reported had to do with writing specs. It seems that specs are like flossing: everybody knows they should be writing them, but nobody does. Why won't people write specs? People claim that it's because they're saving time by skipping the spec-writing phase. I believe that on any non-trivial project (more than about 1 week of coding or more than 1 programmer), if you don't have a spec, you will always spend more time and create lower quality code. The most important function of a spec is to design the program. Let's visit two imaginary programmers at two companies. Speedy and Mr. Speedy decides that the best way to provide backwards compatibility is to write a converter which simply converts 1.0 version files into 2.0 version files. Now, Mr. When opening a file created with an older version of the product, the file is converted to the new format. Another 20 minutes have elapsed.

To Version Control or Not? « Boagworld Development Digital Strategy: The estimated time to read this article is 7 minutes This post has stemmed from an e-mail by Simon Hamp whom has just started working for a PHP development team and has been given the task of assessing their current systems. Simon writes: I wanted a professional opinion on a proposal I have made to move from file-based version control (i.e. manual folder management) to full-blown source code management. Is it worth making the change from an existing system and move to something like Subversion for a team of our size, considering that this would change the processes for those who have been here the longest quite considerably? Version control is one of those things that you already know you should be using, and if you’re like me, have promised yourself for a while that you’ll get round to learning and integrating into your own workflow. I’m going to be honest with you here, I can’t profess to be an expert in version control. l your developers can mainta

minify - Project Hosting on Google Code News 2013-07-23 Minify 2.1.7 is released in response to a serious vulnerability discovered in all previous versions. You are strongly urged to follow the instructions in the report to secure your installation, and to upgrade to Minify 2.1.7. 2013-07-19 Minify 2.1.6 released. About Minify is a PHP5 app that helps you follow several of Yahoo!' It combines multiple CSS or Javascript files, removes unnecessary whitespace and comments, and serves them with gzip encoding and optimal client-side cache headers. Support List Minify in Use The stats above are from a brief walkthrough which shows how easy it is to set up Minify on an existing site. The design is somewhat similar to Yahoo's Combo Handler Service, except that Minify can combine any local JS/CSS files you need for your page. Minify integrated into other Projects/Plugins Features Requirements PHP 5.1.6 / command-line tools require 5.3 The commonly installed zlib extension is recommended for HTTP encoding functionality. Installation Support List

A Guide on Advanced Logging and Benchmarking with FirePHP In a previous article, we discussed FirePHP’s basic logging functions for debugging your PHP web applications. Although–as we have seen–it can be used for debugging purposes, its main utility is to log information about your web apps, and it does a terrific job in that regard. In this article, I will introduce you to an old concept that seems to be forgotten by most web developers today: the importance of logging. Additionally, I’ll walk you through some of functions designed to keep your logging more organized. We will talk about: Grouping messagesTablesBenchmarking your code We’ll also learn how to redirect trappable PHP errors to FirePHP, which is a neat and very convenient feature. The importance of logging While debugging is essential to ensure an application works, it does not explain why, for example, a user is having trouble subscribing to your newsletter when other users can. Unfortunately, many web developers tend to disregard logging, making bug squashing a lot harder. Tables

12 Tools To Check Your Site’s Accessibility When you design any web site, one of your first goals is to make sure you get as many visitors as you can, but have you checked the true accessibility of your site? Can a color blind person read it? Are all of your scripts cooperating? One caveat to this list, while these tools are helpful and will help you spot some problems, never trust them to be the ultimate authority, but more of a starting point on your road to the smoothest running site you can build. ACTF aDesigner: An extension for the open source Eclipse development platform, it is built specifically to test for the accessibility of the visually impaired. Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 accessibility: For designers who use Adobe’s Dreamweaver CS4, you’ll find a validation tool built right in that allows you to choose what to test at any time and get a full report on any errors that it may find. IBM’s Rational Policy Tester Accessibility Edition: A Windows-only solution for testing your site for accessibility by those with disabilities.

5 Web Accessibility Improvement Tools Over the past few weeks we’ve been showcasing some amazing articles, tools, and videos in our Resources section. Our twitter followers have gotten a taste of these resources and have let us know they are really enjoying them! Today I would like to share some tools with you that focus on accessibility, a very important sector of user experience. Improve Accessibility Here are some tools you may find useful increase accessibility, a constant battle that UX designers have to face: Wave: Web Accessbility Evaluation Tool WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. Image Analyzer This service examines all images found on a web page to check for any accessibility issues. Color Blindness Simulator Use this Colour Blindness Simulator to reveal how your images or websites may appear to users with a variety of colour blindness conditions. Improve Readability Readability is key to accessibility. Color Contrast User Testing Tools: It is always fun to try out new user testing tools.

The Woork Handbook The Woork Handbook is a free eBook about CSS, HTML, Ajax, web programming, Mootools, Scriptaculous and other topics about web design... directly from Woork! Ok friends... finally a first preview of "The Woork Handbook" is ready to be released. This book is a miscellanea of articles I wrote on my blog in the past year. The book contains articles with code sections, images, illustrations and links to original contents on woork. The Woork Handbook has been selected on Scribd as a featured document. Featured Documents are documents that our editors have deemed to be high quality, and adds significant value to Scribd's collection of documents. Screenshots These are some screenshots of the book: 1. 2. 3. Please, take a mind these points: - english is not my primary language; - all content it’s a brutal copy and paste from my blog; - I’ll update periodically this book with new content. Read this eBook on-line The Woork Handbook I hope you’ll find this handbook (with all his limits...) useful.

Collaborate and Connect with Subversion Consider this: You own a small web design and development shop. Maybe it’s just you and a couple of other people. Because of your size, you rely heavily on outside subcontractors. Subcontractors allow you to take on more projects, make more money, and scale your business carefully. Managing even a few contracted workers is challenging. Subversion connects and promotes collaboration#section1 Subversion (SVN) is a version control system that allows you to track and store code changes, collaborate, and share project files. Visibility is a good thing#section2 Subversion also keeps everyone on your team involved in the project: commits and project changes become visible as they are made (see The Tools You Need, below). Make it mandatory#section3 If a subcontractor wants to do business with your shop, make your workflow and toolset mandatory. Some subcontractors may want to email .zip files of their work or may post it to a remote server for you to download and view. Set expectations#section5

45 Incredibly Useful Web Design Checklists and Questionnaires | Designing websites can be a long and complicated process. Dealing with clients, designing prototypes, coding, programming, and testing – there’s a lot to keep track of and a lot to make sure gets done. That’s where checklists can make your life a whole lot easier. With lists of points covering multiple areas from content to usability to accessibility to standards, you’re a lot less likely to overlook important parts of a site. Below are 45 checklists to make your design process easier and more organized. Also consider our previous article: 15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website1 lists some important things to check before you make your sites public. 1. These questionnaires and checklists are focused on making your relationships with your clients better. How to Extract the Facts with a Web Design Client Questionnaire2 This questionnaire from Freelance Switch is meant to send out to prospective clients to get a good idea of what they’re looking for from a website. 2. 3. 4. Dr.

The Ultimate Testing Checklist [Server Side Essentials] Testing plays a critical role in the development of your web site and its long-term maintenance. While smaller web sites – especially those with more limited budgets – may not need to follow the formal testing procedures that are required for large-scale, commercial web sites, every site needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure that it’s error-free, user-friendly, accessible, and standards compliant. Testing should be completed during each phase of a site’s development. Two of the most costly web project mistakes are to delay testing until just before launch, or not to test at all. Testing during production makes it easier to locate and resolve errors, and minimizes the chance of existing bugs being replicated throughout later stages of development. This chapter’s checklists, extracted from SitePoint’s new release, Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, will help you test your site both during development, and after. Getting Started Provide acceptable testing protocols.