DragonFlyEye.Net v4.0

There comes a time in every young website’s life that things begin to change.? It takes an interest in other websites, it finds hair growing in places it didn’t grow before, and it’s voice deepens. . .

OK, so that’s just stupid.? The point being: it’s time for a big change in the way DragonFlyEye.Net is put together.? Version 3.0 has done great things, and I’ve gone pretty far in my goal of being a completely functional news-type website, but for several reasons, it is time for a rebuild.

It is, I suspect, the continuing challenge of every webdesigner to be able to provide maximum readability and consistency across pages.? It is also the goal of every webdesigner to provide the best and the latest features to thier websites.? Those three benchmarks are completely at odds with one another, since adding new functions to a site invariably adds exceptions to the list of carefully laid out rules that govern consistency, and new things don’t always translate to the most readable things when this happens.? So it has gone with DFE.

The initial plan for DFE, the layout which for the most part has maintained itself over the last year or so, was a decent one, but perhaps a bit too spread out to be all that readable.? I’m hoping to condense the headlines and features at the top of every page into something a bit tighter.? Also, the top banner area which I had such lofty goals for has over time become a needless waste of space.? So I’m acing the top portion and moving everything up a bit, and also laying out the features a bit more effectively.? Not sure what that will be yet, but I’m going to be doing it.

Also, from an administrative perspective, the site has become something of a mess, and my understanding of how to put together a site has become more focused.? The v4.0 model will be based on templates so that one change in one place will (hopefully) propigate to all areas.? Functional files will be kept to a strict set of responsibilities so that I know what is what, and the database will also be going through some changes.

I’ve seen this new API for PHP called LivePipe, and I’m giving some thought to using that, but I need to bust into the documentation, which I was not able to do this weekend.? No idea if this will be what I need, or if I just need to constipate on what I’m doing and write some clean code.

The database will probably undergo some changes, as well.? Things have been installed, added and changed for a while now, and it’s starting to get as unruly as everything else with the page.

Tune in next weekend, when I will be posting the latest ideas for the new version.? I am already beginning my needs assesment (yes, I’m actually writing out a needs assesment, this time) and will be able to fill in more details as they happen.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.