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    Starting your project

    Hi,

    Note: this is not really a PHP only question, but it fits best in this forum.

    I felt like starting a new site today, so I tried to think of a subject. I've got one. I've also got a design, and the basic navigation and such in this design.

    But now...

    Now I'm kind of in this situation, like; I feel like beginning to code the site's (core) features, but when I start up my editor and type a few lines of code, I think like "no, I'm not in the mood of doing this right now". It's always like that.

    Any ideas on how to overcome this? As for I like to get started, but don't actually start.

    Regards,
    x4t

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot crashmakerMX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x4t
    Now I'm kind of in this situation, like; I feel like beginning to code the site's (core) features, but when I start up my editor and type a few lines of code, I think like "no, I'm not in the mood of doing this right now". It's always like that.
    I also experienced that pretty often.

    You need some kind of motivation and something that brings the right mood.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashmakerMX
    I also experienced that pretty often.

    You need some kind of motivation and something that brings the right mood.
    Yep that's exactly the point. My motivation is to develop a site that get's a nice community and makes me some money (mainly to pay hosting and such). Only this doesn't seem a high enough motivation.

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    SitePoint Zealot crashmakerMX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x4t
    Yep that's exactly the point. My motivation is to develop a site that get's a nice community and makes me some money (mainly to pay hosting and such). Only this doesn't seem a high enough motivation.
    I'm still having such problems with my first project, being developed for over two years. I have rewritten it over and over again.

    I don't know what influenes it but sometimes there's flow and sometimes not. What about TDD? (Exactly the same minute as Marcus )

  5. #5
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi.

    This is a long shot...

    Write a test that tests just one thing. Something like:
    PHP Code:
    class TestOfLoggingIn extends WebTestCase {
        function 
    testCanRegister() {
            
    $this->get('http://localhost/my_project/');
            
    $this->click('Register');
            
    $this->setField('name''Me');
            
    $this->click('Join');
            
    $this->assertText('Welcome Me');
        }

    Then write the code to get the test passing. Now write another, and so on. You'll never go backwards by introducing bugs, the constant green of features complete is motivating in itself and you can put the project down and pick it up again knowing taht you won't easily break it.

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Hi.

    This is a long shot...

    Write a test that tests just one thing. Something like:
    PHP Code:
    class TestOfLoggingIn extends WebTestCase {
        function 
    testCanRegister() {
            
    $this->get('http://localhost/my_project/');
            
    $this->click('Register');
            
    $this->setField('name''Me');
            
    $this->click('Join');
            
    $this->assertText('Welcome Me');
        }

    Then write the code to get the test passing. Now write another, and so on. You'll never go backwards by introducing bugs, the constant green of features complete is motivating in itself and you can put the project down and pick it up again knowing taht you won't easily break it.

    yours, Marcus
    Hi,

    I like the TDD idea, but I don't get I entirely. Could you post a good example on how to use it?

    Thanks in advance

    yours, x4t

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    There's a great (and motivating) example on lastcraft.com.

  8. #8
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    sometimes a night of drinking and you'll wake the next.... whenever to find some of the most magical "motivating" code :P

    You could try a "rapid" web development framework (http://cakephp.org/). Plus learning something new can be a challenge and motivating factor on it's own...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hutchic
    sometimes a night of drinking and you'll wake the next.... whenever to find some of the most magical "motivating" code :P

    You could try a "rapid" web development framework (http://cakephp.org/). Plus learning something new can be a challenge and motivating factor on it's own...
    "Plus learning something new..." do you mean like learning a new language? Like Java or something?

    @ReeD: Thanks, I'll check it out.

    [edit]
    I've checked it out, and it's a very good intro in TDD. I'll try to use it myself now.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast didimo's Avatar
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    one of my motivations when creating community websites is that alot of money can
    be made from ppc like adsense once they become popular


    these sites after inital hard work can make alot of money for you, just have to sit back and relax

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    Quote Originally Posted by didimo
    one of my motivations when creating community websites is that alot of money can
    be made from ppc like adsense once they become popular


    these sites after inital hard work can make alot of money for you, just have to sit back and relax
    Well "sit back and relax". I don't think that's true, because you'll have to make sure the site is well-maintained, some new features are build every let's say 6 months, members are happy, content is updated etc etc.

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    > these sites after inital hard work can make alot of money for you, just have to sit back and relax

    Sit back and relax? I wish I was as fortunate as that myself... But I do agree that a community based site medium to long term, does offer the same level of (financial) benifits of a commercial site though...

    Just some times things are slow burners; Btw, sorry for going off topic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Livingston
    > these sites after inital hard work can make alot of money for you, just have to sit back and relax

    Sit back and relax? I wish I was as fortunate as that myself... But I do agree that a community based site medium to long term, does offer the same level of (financial) benifits of a commercial site though...

    Just some times things are slow burners; Btw, sorry for going off topic
    Don't mind it at all

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    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by x4t
    I like the TDD idea, but I don't get I entirely. Could you post a good example on how to use it?
    The best resource is TestDrivenDevelopment by Example - Kent Beck. I found the second half of the book pretty much repeated the first, but even for half a book it's great value.

    I wrote a micky mouse introduction here (pure advocacy)...

    http://www.developerspot.com/tutoria...ent/page1.html

    We can probably do better than these though. Name one feature of your new project. If you can express it in a couple of sentences, we could do one complete cycle.

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

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    One of the features involved in my project is action logging. The system must be able to log every action made, from viewing a page to posting new messages to trying to exploit the site. All the actions are user-performed ofcourse. This is for me so I can see where visitors search for, which pages aren't visited well, what exploits the site has etc etc. Kind of a small CRM idea.

    Thanks for the help on this.

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    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x4t
    Now I'm kind of in this situation, like; I feel like beginning to code the site's (core) features, but when I start up my editor and type a few lines of code, I think like "no, I'm not in the mood of doing this right now". It's always like that.
    I've found that personally I get satisfaction from being able to see that I'm doing something. For example, todo lists. I get a lot of satisfaction when I finally cross an item off the list. Right now I'm in a project and I have a whole bunch of things that I want to get done and aspects of the project that need to be finalized and everything- by having that list up I can pick out the pieces and get cracking on crossing it off. It's kind of stupid, but it works, at least for me (though I've read somewhere that a lot of successful people have some other sort of todo list system to help organize and motivate). Try it out. And, if you're like me, you might like cool things, so check out getting a Backpack account and use their Ajaxy list goodness. Or not. Worth a try to see if it helps your motivation though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    I've found that personally I get satisfaction from being able to see that I'm doing something. For example, todo lists. I get a lot of satisfaction when I finally cross an item off the list. Right now I'm in a project and I have a whole bunch of things that I want to get done and aspects of the project that need to be finalized and everything- by having that list up I can pick out the pieces and get cracking on crossing it off. It's kind of stupid, but it works, at least for me (though I've read somewhere that a lot of successful people have some other sort of todo list system to help organize and motivate). Try it out. And, if you're like me, you might like cool things, so check out getting a Backpack account and use their Ajaxy list goodness. Or not. Worth a try to see if it helps your motivation though.
    Great hint, thanks. How do you call your todo's? I kind of do it like this:
    - Module Loader
    - GUI classes
    - Log classes

    Or do you think this is to big for one todo item (so you would advise the following)?
    - Module Loader
    - GUI: AJAX integration
    - GUI: Template Parser
    - GUI: Posting Interfacing
    - Log: Action log
    - Log: Post log
    - Log: Bug Tracking

    Thanks for your input.

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    Mal Reynolds Mandibal's Avatar
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    The 2nd method is better for instant gratification. Make your todo's as specific as possible so it's something you can mark done after a few hours of coding (more or less ). What I've found is naming a todo called "GUI classes" means you have a lot of sub tasks that can be done before you actually can cross GUI classes off your list. But GUI: template parser can be checked off much sooner giving you that good feeling of accomplishing something.
    Erh

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    SitePoint Addict been's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandibal
    The 2nd method is better for instant gratification.
    Plus, it provides a more fine-grained division of tasks, so estimation can become more precise.
    Add a few columns, some time, and you're on the way of Painless Software Schedules
    Per
    Everything
    works on a PowerPoint slide

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    1. Stay enthusiastic

    Transform the project in a way that motivates you. One of the things that motivate me is to bring some challenge into it, implement something new that I didn't do before; work to learn, not to earn.

    2. Fight external noise

    I occassionally find myself getting interrupted every 5 minutes(!). IM, Phone, Email, then I open the browser to look up something and I find myself reading blogs, posting to forums etc.

    3. Learn in practice

    Accept that you're a human and don't have to do everything right for the first time. You don't have to build the complete product in a single step. Simply close the browser and do something.

    Being Proactive Is Feeling Alive
    Why Now?

  21. #21
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    been and norbert_m, thanks for the tips. I'm going to use a combination of TDD (patienty waiting for lastcraft's example ) and PSS (Painless Software Schedule).

    I often find myself in the same position as norbert_m (being interrupted every 5 minutes). That's why, sometimes, I just shut my IM, 'kill' my phone and just go coding.

  22. #22
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by x4t
    One of the features involved in my project is action logging.
    This is techy stuff. Do you have a useful customer feature for this application? Or are the "users" actually developers, and this is some kind of framework thingy?

    The first step is to express the requirement as a story. In this case it might be...

    1) A user goes to the site and logs in.
    2) An administrator goes to the site and views the log-ins.
    3) They should see the first user having logged in.
    4) They should also see their own log-in.

    We could go with this, but the security stuff usually comes after the basic application idea is up. This is putting the cart before the horse somewhat. What is the most likely usage of your application?

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    Hi...



    This is techy stuff. Do you have a useful customer feature for this application? Or are the "users" actually developers, and this is some kind of framework thingy?

    The first step is to express the requirement as a story. In this case it might be...

    1) A user goes to the site and logs in.
    2) An administrator goes to the site and views the log-ins.
    3) They should see the first user having logged in.
    4) They should also see their own log-in.

    We could go with this, but the security stuff usually comes after the basic application idea is up. This is putting the cart before the horse somewhat. What is the most likely usage of your application?

    yours, Marcus

    Hi.

    First of all, I'm not all that keen on this quote "but the security stuff usually comes after the basic application idea is up" You kind of get that MS stuff in XP, bad security because it's a layer around the application, not something that's actually build into the application.

    I could go with an other feature, let's say, template parsing. (If that's okay with you. Else, name your feature )

    yours, Martijn

    pS. "What is the most likely usage of your application?" It's going to be a site for people who can share their home-made work to get a bit more renown. (And then, this is for a specific group I don't want to mention here because of the uniqueness (is that a word? ) of the idea.)
    Last edited by x4t; Apr 2, 2006 at 08:06.

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    Hi,

    I've build myself a schedule using the "Painless Software Schedule" method. The schedule is;


    Is this a good schedule or are there things that MUST be changed or things that SHOULD be changed. This is the first time I schedule my project. Looking forward to some good reactions on my schedule

    yours, Martijn

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    SitePoint Zealot crashmakerMX's Avatar
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    I keep myself on task with Trac tickets at my development site.

    Or at least I'm going to do it. Development will start in the easter holidays.


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