Looking for an update on what I did yesterday? Well I did NOTHING. I felt quite bad about it, but if there’s something my gym habit has taught me is that you can’t be perfect every day. But today I was ready to get things done!
A week ago by the campfire
Last sunday following the publication of my roadmap, I had a discussion in the JFDI campfire chat room with Andy Parkinson about Helthe and what the service was. The important part of the conversation is found below.
The main takeaway that I took is that I needed to really double down on what it meant to the user to have a solution for PHP. The other popular languages at the moment tend to have one dominant framework (Django for Python and Rails for Ruby), but that’s not the case for PHP and that needs to be better explained.
PHP is 80% of the web
PHP is so prevalent for many reasons, but the important point is that PHP is represented by more than just a framework. It is used to run web dominant CMSes and E-Commerce platforms as well as various frameworks so it’s not realistic to expect one PHP library to be adequate for each. I definitely don’t believe it is. And that’s where I draw my line.
WordPress is the best example of that. I already did an exhaustive analysis of WordPress errors and how they are handled. A regular PHP library would only capture a fraction of the problems that could happen within a WordPress installation. It’s especially complex because WordPress is so defensive in its way of handling problems.
I don’t have an issue with that per say because it makes WordPress very user-friendly which is one of its core values. It does, however, put an increased burden on the programmer who is looking for the cause of problems. This can lead to dangerous practices like cowboy coding because it’s just so hard to know what is going on at times.
We meet again copywriting
With all these ideas swirling in my head, I set to work modifying my marketing site copy.
Now I have a confession to make, whenever I have to do copywriting, I want to go hide somewhere and forget about it. It’s one of the many skills I need to build, but it’s definitely the one that makes me feel the clumsiest. I feel like Fry (Futurama) trying to play the holophor for Leela.
You have well constructed ideas in your head, but you have to put them out there and hope they get shared properly.
I wanted to modify the section that discussed the more PHP centric benefits for the user to be more descriptive and explain some of the issues I brought up earlier in the post. After 4 hours, I got a result I was satisfied with.
I do actually think it is an improvement over the old version. I didn’t add the logos because I couldn’t make them look good on the page with the responsive layout so I kept them out. I am curious to know if logos are something you would consider important so let me know in the comments.
I did a small modification to the FAQ to say that the deadline had passed, but I was still working on it.
This goes up tomorrow
I’ll be pushing all this out tomorrow, but will be keeping the work I did on the account creation and API disabled. I’ll be writing up my thoughts on the experience as well.
Keep up with my progress
I have been bad and haven’t sent emails everyday as I should, this is the next thing I want to spend time tackling. I’ll be sending a detailed recap at the end of the project to my mailing list. You can subscribe here. You will also get all the info when things are ready for testing.