I'm sure everybody (meaning the few that read my blog... or lack thereof) is wondering why in the world I haven't put out a detailed post since April, or any post at all since October. So here are the two biggest work highlights of mine in the past six months.
The Confederate Shoppe
Probably my biggest project this past year has been a Confederate ecommerce website for a store called The Confederate Shoppe. A gentleman in our church told me about a friend of his (the store owner) who needed her online store redone (the original was done in '95 or so). We exchanged emails in May, and I started work on it immediately. The new site went live in September and has handled orders successfully. Many of my client's customers are a little wary of shopping online but she really wants to leverage the potential of the site since it means she doesn't have to answer the phone or wait at her house for someone to buy things from her.
One of the reasons I offered my services on the shoppe was that I had just completed a revision of my web framework. To abbreviate into English for all of my non-geeky readers, a web framework is essentially tools for building a website that get reused over and over for multiple projects like displaying a web page, authorization, storing data, and so forth. These frameworks are usually common pieces from websites grouped into one coherent package and sometimes published for others to use, like Django, Ruby on Rails, Turbogears, and Pylons. I've tried a few times to write my own framework, but usually fell into lower quality from time constraints on websites. Right before I did The Confederate Shoppe, I made another attempt to build something useful, and called it "Plethora" (more on the name later). Since then It's grown both in actual size (nearly 5,000 lines of code), functionality, and quality. I got the name "plethora" from the fact that it shares first letters with the language it's written in (python) and a principle I'm attempting to reflect in my work known as loose coupling which allows for interchanging parts within the original product, hence the framework is "one, yet many" or a Plethora ("a" denoting singular, "plethora" denoting many).