sj: codescape

M and I have been attempting to work together for the last week to write an online newspaper system for the Oracle. Neither one of us has even done any extensive work in a group project and this seemed like a good project that would be both entertaining and meaningful.

We have been having trouble though and last night we gave up and M is going to work on it on his own and I am going to focus on my other work.

The desire to have peer relationships technologically is something that I would really like. It was disappointing to me that this didn’t work out. I have been trying to figure out exactly what happened…

I guess it started with a difference in design objectives. I am on a pretty tight set of deadlines for the education department. I didn’t have time to invest exploring a variety of possibilities. I have been working learning about different web publishing architectures for the last month and I am to the point I need to make things happen.

The language that we went with was java, primarily at my behest. I can work fairly well in java and the other major contender was php and though I think I was still more experienced with that than anyone else, when I worked with it before it lacked some features that are useful when trying to set up generalized structures.

M doesn’t know java though. The languages that he has done sizable projects in to date are C and asp (to the best of my knowledge).

M wanted to start from the ground up and build a web publishing architecture. I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but I had an architecture I was using already and the idea of taking the time to go through and write and test a new one (when the current one was working) wasn’t something I was willing to do. I was fine with M doing it and if he wanted and if it had advantages over what I was using then I would help him write the paper to run on top of it.

As I mentioned before though, M doesn’t know java. In particular java makes use of a variety of libraries and M is unfamiliar with them. For him to develop a solid application of the complexity required is next to impossible. I, who have been writing java professionally for about 3 years now, would not try to do what he set out to do in less than a month. He had 3 days.

Even if he got the framework done it would still need to be better than what I was working with currently (which is working pretty well) to convince me to switch. What I am working with now is a open source project with a helpful community of developers both fixing bugs and offering help with problems. Those are important factors in weighing the value of the system.

Honestly, I think that my biggest problem is spending too much time looking at all the possibilities and putting off my decisions to the detriment of my productivity. I stay too fluid when rigidity is required to enact change. M’s though, I think, is not letting his methods be affected enough by other paradigms. He started in with an idea of what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it when both the language and the existing frameworks had structures that could have been leveraged rather than overcome.

So, last night, he decided to switch back to asp and do it there. I am unwilling to write in vb, so he is doing it alone. I want to write a little more on that, but I am going to put that in a different journal.

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