From: Ken Mosher ken at spatulacity.com> on 2005.11.03 at 06:34:32(13499)|
Hey, don't let my experience discourage anyone from taking on this project!
Brian has offered to do the ongoing monitoring of auctions for the rest
of time. Which server-side web developer out there is willing to
evaluate 3 to 5 of the tons of programs that cost under $100 to see
which ones suck and which ones are great?
Oh, wait, until the webmaster declares whether we must use ASP, or PHP
or JSP we can't do the evaluation. Which backend database will our host
support? That will narrow down those tons of programs to a much smaller
number. Now someone has to find a good product from that reduced pool.
Only choose a product that's been out for at least 3 years and has 100
installations - pool is even smaller. Only choose a product that has an
active support forum so when things go wrong we can fix them. Pool got
A true tale:|
A friend of mine asked me to design a fancy, party-neutral political web
site for him. Among other things, he wanted a forum for discussion of
town issues. I told him I'd make him a site, but I wouldn't maintain it.
I didn't have the time for that. I did a search and found tons of
choices for forum software. I whittled them down to just the ones
written in ASP, since that's what I know. I read about the features
carefully, I looked at the vendors' sites and at demo forums. I chose
Snitz, I recommend it if you use ASP. A Snitz forum can be administered
by pretty much anyone once it's installed and set up, doesn't require a
programmer. To me, using the forum was child's play, but I'm a
programmer by profession. Of course installing the software took me MANY
HOURS because one of the ASP statements was crashing. I had to delve
into someone else's logic and programming style. I had to find ONE bad
statement somewhere in one of about 10 ASP files that were used just to
load the first page.
I found it, a statement I'd never seen before and never used before. It
had something to do with localizing the language. I took it out and it
fixed the problem without affecting functionality. When I contacted my
host (for the 3rd or 5th time) I discovered that the web site wasn't
running under IIS after all, it was something else that was trying to
support ASP and not doing it perfectly. I had previously been told it
was running under IIS (Microsoft's web server).
Then it turns out that the forum software I felt was extremely easy to
administer and use was confounding to my friend (who was supposed to
administer it, it was HIS site after all) and to many of the users. The
end result was that the site was never used very much and we let the
domain name expire. I wasted MANY hours of my valuable time.
Call me a pessimist, mostly you'd be right, although I always insist I'm
a realist. I don't underestimate the aroid society. They're the
brightest, handsomest, cleverest, wittiest, friendliest, bestest bunch
of people I've ever had the pleasure to associate with! That sounds
sarcastic, but call it tongue-in-cheek because if it wasn't true I
wouldn't hang around with you all.
Ask Enid and Dan Devor and Ron McHatton and the Malesiana guys and Tony
Avent how much time (and expense) their web sites take up. I know mine
takes a lot of time, and it's not even very good for all the effort!
I take you back to my opening sentence, "Hey, don't let my experience
discourage anyone from taking on this project!" And if the aroid.org
auction site does open for business I might even use it - if I'm not
banned for being such a pain in the ass!
P.S. Thanks, George!
Brian Williams wrote:
I think you truly under estimate the aroid society. A quick search on
Yahoo or Google will bring up tons of programs for building your own
automated auction site. Most are under 100.00 dollars. I doubt it would
be that big of a burden, a monitor to view the auctions so nothing
inappropriate is up and that should about do it. People put up their own
auctions with pics and descriptions. I don't see any problems with that.
I would monitor it if it's that big a deal?
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