More Random Updates: Of Life, Work, and WordPress


Of course it is November, so I'm immersed in National Novel Writing Month and the bulk of my writing is focused on that.  Thus far, I am behind, alas, but I'm still hanging in there.  I've been this behind before and its' highly likely I will win, mostly just need to sit down and do more writing daily versus just a few times a week.

For work wise, as I mentioned awhile back, we're prepping to do the major overhaul of our big app, AgriLife People.  Since that post at the end of August, we finished the initial spec gathering, the initial requirements, and the project plans.  We then went on to do some work-flows of the most complex modules and work flow changes.  Those of course had to be reviewed, corrected, reviewed some more.  But we finally go through them too.

Now we're working on mock ups of all the major functions/processes. Nine major ones in all, several of which have multiple sub-functions that are really modules unto themselves.  Thus far we have well over 100 pages of Balsamiq mockups…and still have quite a bit go to. 

So yeah…we are still in the planning phase for it.  I can honestly say, it is mind-numbing and it is a struggle to get through them sometimes.  I do recognize and look forward to when we do finally get to code, because with all this planning the coding should go faster with much less ambiguity on the details.  We did also get to do the initial database ERD, sans the relationships between entities (will add those once we have are sure it is pretty much set). 

I also got to take a break from the mockups to do a quick side project for a client on spec off hours and we did a quick bunch of updates to another client's apps that they are testing now.  It was nice to get to code a bit. 😀

In terms of personal development, I haven't touched most of my own sites in awhile.  I did spend a bit of time playing around with WordPress, helping a fellow local writer figure it out.  After working with both the free .COM hosted version and the self-hosted one (WordPress 4.0), I got her set up with the self-hosted one.  The hosted one just had too many limitations for what she needed. 

With the self-hosted version, the whole 5 minute install is kind of BS if you need some semblance fo functionality, but it is still pretty easy to get going.  And if you like some of the features of the .COM version, which I would think would be basic stuff included in the self-hosted like share buttons or a spell checker, then you have to install the the JetPack plugin.  Also, you can get the same theme in hosted and self-hosted versions and they will be very different in apperance and functionality.  Fortunately the hosted versions can be downloaded for use on the self-hosted ones, if you had one there you like enough to want to be your base template..

More than likely, within the next few months I'll transition this site over to WordPress as well.  But first I want to finish figuring out the template stuff so I can keep my current look and feel as much as possible.  The templates are a bit more complex than the ones in Mango.  This far I've dabbled with customizing the CSS and in mkaing the front page of a site have both the home info and the most recent post. 

Before I could change this site over, I'd also have to write a script to dump from Mango to push into the WordPress version, find plug ins appropriate for code display, etc.  Does that mean I'll be dropping CF completely from my personal sites?  Not likely anytime soon as my main personal site, would require a huge swatch of recoding to flip to PHP, even with the pseduo-start I made while learning Zend.  I'd want to be much more well-versed in it before I went to the level of using it on my site like that.

Suffice to say, I'll likely be doing some WordPress posts in the future as I continue experimenting, learning, and cursing it. 🙂