All Unkept
Posted in: Software development, Personal and misc, Web development  —  December 09, 2004 at 11:05 PM

GMail invite, anyone?

by Luke Plant

I've got a number of Google gmail invites spare, available to first comers, e-mail me. Remember - "the early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese" :-). The GMail interface is quite nice -- I use it currently for accessing my person mail at work. It will never replace my e-mail client I don't think (although it has a lot of nice features such as autocomplete on addresses which rival fat clients).

At work I have been struggling with other people's code. The code in question is part of a CMS package that we customise and add to for our customers. The core code seems to be OK, and very flexible and powerful, but it comes with a number of default plugins that we and our customers use.

Unfortunately for a web product, the plugins seemed to have been designed by someone who had never heard of "separation of content and presentation". It looks like they had eventually heard of CSS, but much too late, and obviously totally didn't get it -- they just used it in exactly the same way they were using HTML formatting tags. (To be generous, perhaps they had designed the plugins for creating sites for Netscape 4, and some ambitious newbie tried to retrofit CSS, and gave up half way through). In some cases it seems they also hadn't heard of standards, or validation, or doing anything beyond getting it to work in the first browser they tried. Aargh! I'm just itching to get my hands on the code.

To humble myself again, I have to remind myself of a number of projects whose source code I'm not massively proud of. I am now being punished for the all the sloppy coding I've done in the past.

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