I’ve been a busy camper this year. Sometimes it seems like I’m so deep in code that I can’t enjoy the fun, creative aspects of web development. However, I have seen a couple sites launch that I’ve had the pleasure of working on.
When I heard Yahoo! was building a food site, I thought Hot Diggity Damn. I want to work on that one. However, I was deeply committed to an important post-launch facelift of Yahoo! Tech. So, I told the Food team that I wanted to help as much as possible. This is a really nice site, with a great leader. The site, from the very beginning, had a distinct character and huge ambitions. Programming the code was nothing compared to what the project managers did for the content.
I was only able to help with some of the early templates and platform settings. The Food team deserves tons of credit for putting together a great site in an amazingly quick time.
When I came to Yahoo!, I knew very little about PHP and XSL. I was anxious to learn the languages and have gotten pretty darn good with XSL. PHP, however is still a new language for me. My friend Pam asked me to help her build an e-commerce site for her new floral business back in early summer. I told her I couldn’t do it but would look around. Soon enough, I realized this was a good time to jump knee-deep in PHP and learn how to use it. We grabbed a pre-packaged cart sytem, enlisted a friend, Marc, to do the secured server settings, and off we went.
X-cart is robust, but fairly easy to work with. It’s PHP and Smarty based. I spent several weeks replacing tables with standards-based markup, editing the CSS, updating the JS, and adding Pam’s unique visual statement. It’s a pretty site with lots of white space and no rounded corners, my pet peeve.
I still have some validation errors to fix, some legacy code to cleanup, and some cross-browser fixes. But for just the two of us, this site came out pretty dang nice. If you are looking for a San Diego Florist, check out the site. If you are looking for an e-commerce platform, take a look at X-cart. This site took about 200 hours to transform and build. That’s not a small amount, but I considered it a learning experience and didn’t mind a bit.
I’m working on a new project at Yahoo! that is coming along great. In this world of bloated Web 2.0 web sites, this is a lean, mean fighting machine. It is blazingly fast and perfectly suited for its audience. You’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the announcement.