Friday, October 26, 2007

Feedback Frenzy

So.... let's recapitulate what happened a couple of days ago;

1) I got impatient with not getting my program "out there"
2) I decided to release early & often
3) I even did a small screencast (though I didn't realize how small until I saw the tiny windows in the blog :)

My idea was that it didn't matter that my design looked like being hit over the head with a live chicken greased in peyotl, as long as those who did the looking-around were programmers themselves and had the wits and tenaicty to dig around for features - especially if I wrote the features up beforehand.

It was, of course, a very silly idea. The end-result was that of the around 1400 people who took their time to load the composer, a whopping 74 did vote on ajaxian.com - and the result was 1.4 (out of 5). Not exactly glamorous, but that's show-biz, I guess.

The big reasons people thought it sucked was 1) It looked like crap and 2) They didn't understand what to do.

Note that in the ajaxian blurb I had bullet point that described the main features, in this very blog I described how to go about it, I put a link to the FAQ clearly visible on the page, and there was a new "System Menu" which labeled each subcategory.

This did not daunt more than a hardy few. It seems that *any* inconvenience is too much for most people - even supposedly battle-hardened programmers (who were my main audience for the alpha release).

But what was good was that I was able to try out the system under moderate load, with moer then one person at a time, since I really didn't know if it would hold water or not (it did, thankfully). So the expereince was not compeltely wasted. Also, I got to know some really interesting people who are doing similar thigns (and a troll, but who's counting? :)

The bottom line is now that I'll rewrite the entire system from more-or-less scratch. It's a wonderful feeling, and it will take *much* less time, since I know what I didn't like with my (architectural) design the last time around.

First of all, I decided to use a database - object layer. So today I managed to coach Propel (of phpdb fame) to generate schemas and classes from my initial phpmyadmin doodles, and during the weekend I'll set up a very basic and wonderfully designed dojo-1.0b frontend.

See you all then.

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