It is at this point that it becomes very obvious to me that I should have kept notes as I went along…

But, as usual, instead of preparing ahead, being sensible and working steadily through a task, I just leapt straight in and now we’re here.

It’s been an exciting journey since July and I’ve had to flash learn an enormous amount in that time. From a cursory working knowledge of the languages and packages that we used to build a prototype of IRENE I’ve now built a solid knowledge base very practical set of skills. I’ve overcome the vast and myriad challenges of designing, developing, deploying and maintaining a complex web application as well as doing all the art, admin and business management. Exciting, but intense. The result is a much more robust, reliable and sustainable version of IRENE. I’m looking forward to the next iteration, as well as some much needed business development – primarily trying to spread the word and get some early adopters involved to help me steer the dev process. For now, some key patch notes for this version include:

– IRENE is now a plugin for WordPress rather than an extension of our theme: Greater stability, flexibility, far simpler and better support for further development. For the users this means that she loads faster, crashes less often and looks a little better.

– Simplified existing code: Consolidating, simplifying and clarifying existing IRENE code. My aim is to ensure that existing code is reliable and sound to build upon so that future development get faster and faster. Meaning that I can implement suggestions and feedback from users a quickly as possible, see if it works, then either scrap the changes or consolidate them.

– Restyled IRENE: Changed the colour scheme as well as tweaking the layout a little. There’s quite a few ways to interact with IRENE so clarity and simplicity are very important to help the user navigate. I welcome feedback on this, I’m well aware that there’s a lot I take for granted as the designer and developer. I know what every button is for, and my primary concern is always that is works properly. Of course the user will, be equally interested in knowing what they are doing and how to achieve their aims on the platform. Post any feedback to the Bugboard, I’ve added tool-tips to every button in response to some feedback we’ve already had.

– Restyle section51scotland: Since IRENE is now a plugin the program and the site are now separated and the two can be worked on independently. That left me with a lot of restyling to do on the site to bring it into line with the IRENE plugin. A consistent look and feel should help users navigate more easily, as well as establishing a recognisable brand.

– Changed the way backing a pin is processed: You might see some of the pre-existing pins change number of backers if you back them since I played about with a lot of them while testing. That’s just the pins re-setting back to their true values in the wake of my… editing.

Made it possible for an Admin to make a pin last forever: You may occasionally see a message to this effect if you invigorate one of your own pins. It just means that your pin has been upgraded by an Admin – this helps me ensure that genuine pins are preserved as IRENE grows and I change things.

 

Thanks

-max

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