Day 16: Lazy day
After fifteen hours of hard work, we all deserve some time off. So we have decided to declare the sixteenth day the lazy day, because getting some rest is always a good thing when developing web applications. There is no symfony tutorial published today, but there is still a lot to learn.
A lazy day is an important part of the lifetime of a project. It gives you the opportunity to go and see what happens in the outer world, grab new ideas and come back fresh and full of energy for the future. To be honest, we had planned this day from the very beginning, because that's part of the symfony philosophy: If it takes less time to actually develop an application, then you have more time to stand back a bit from things, and to think about improvements.
Today will also be the time to experiment one of the principles of web 2.0 applications: They are always released at a (too) early stage. Not only does it give time to the search engines to visit them, but it also creates a solid group of early users, who will be able to say in the near future: "I was there when it got started". And those people, if they actually like your application, are the best evangelists that you can find. Of course, releasing an unfinished application adds an important constraint to the course of the project: Non-backward compatible changes will be painful, since there already are users and data based on previous versions. But the benefits are almost always more important than the drawbacks. In addition, seeing the AJAX interactions that were developed during the past days in action is a much better illustration than any screen capture.
That means that the askeet website is now open to the public, and you are invited to test it and report any inconvenience that you may experience. But don't talk about it too much yet, because we planned a stress test for the end of the calendar and we will need that a lot of people - including all your friends and relatives - come to visit it that day.
You will probably notice quite a lot of little changes, mostly in the design of the application. We couldn't possibly release askeet without rounded corner boxes and psychedelic colors, so we worked a bit on every page and more on the stylesheets. The detail of the changes can be seen in the askeet trac timeline. You can still download the source from the askeet SVN repository or, and that's the news of the day, directly a .tgz archive.
Askeet is online, but far from being finished. The next days will be tough ones, since we will have to develop web services, a back-office, cache and performance improvements, internationalization, and a mysterious feature that you have to decide.
So make sure you come back tomorrow for the last week of the symfony advent calendar.