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Google Hacked, May Pull Out of China

specific_pacific Re:shut it down! (687 comments)

Welcome to Baidu's payroll.

about 5 years ago

Magento Beginner's Guide

specific_pacific Re:Magento is nice, but... (124 comments)

Zend, behind the framework to which it uses and a great PHP advocate, also wishes to advocate it's optimised LAMP servers. They have a cache demo to speed up pages on the server side so the "instant" loading is possible.

Optimisation has always been an issue but on shared hosting it's alright as long as you setup some subdomains make-do CDN so you can load your images.

more than 5 years ago

Irish Astronomers Investigate Sky Explosion

specific_pacific sif (157 comments)

pix or ban

more than 5 years ago

Recovery.gov To Get $18 Million Redesign

specific_pacific What does 18 million buy? (434 comments)

I run a webshop, and im wondering what the 18 million includes? What would they write this in? Is there 17 million in testing and contracts and 1 million in production? Maintenance agreements? SLA's? Just curious.. 18 million is more than most webs hops earn in a year doing hundreds of jobs probably much bigger than this.

more than 5 years ago

GM's Hummer Brand To Be Sold To a Chinese Company

specific_pacific Streets of Beijing (429 comments)

I've seen about 50+ on the streets of Beijing between other fancy pants cars from club owners, celebrities and job x. They build it big in China AND the US, so they fit right in.

more than 5 years ago

Internet Explorer 6 Will Not Die

specific_pacific Depression (531 comments)

I make websites/applications for a living and have a company with designers and developers. IE6 has always been the bane of my existence. So much so that I feel like changing careers so I never have to work with it again. I thought it'd get easier but it's just one extra thing I have to do to get the website done.

We're thinking of charging extra for IE6 compatibility, but I live in China and the majority of IE6 or 3rd party software which use IE6's rendering engine are in abundance. It's as close as I can feel to hating my job every time IE6 comes into the workflow.

I hope you're reading this Microsoft - you've made the web a very unfun place for many years.

more than 5 years ago

NASA Running Low On Fuel For Space Exploration

specific_pacific Re:buy it from North Korea or Iran (282 comments)

Maybe - except they adore Chairman Mao. He's on every note except 1 which isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Chairman Mao is the symbolism for achievement in spite of the US, the environment, Japan and just about every competitive event that drives their nationalism.

Other than that, they hate it when the government doesn't feed them, so if you were to take over, make them hate the current government and retain their 'China No. 1' mentality with Mao thrown in.

Oh and just for the record.. I doubt VERY much the US isn't producing Plutonium. When someone asks where it's coming from, they just need a legitimate answer.

more than 5 years ago

French President Busted For Copyright Violation

specific_pacific Re:FUCK ARTISTS (317 comments)

Cameron? Is that you?

more than 5 years ago

UK Gov. Wants IWF List To Cover 100% of UK Broadband

specific_pacific Re:Absurd! (281 comments)

I have not heard anything from/about Italy for ages. It's like it never existed.

more than 5 years ago

Joomla! Web Security

specific_pacific Re:Ok Joomla fans, sell me (78 comments)

The 'multiple category' thing Joomla can't do without additional component (paid - jACL or Juga or something). The rest it can - called DocMan. It can integrate with this ACL sublayer and Joomla will read it as well. So you will have to go with Drupal if you don't want to pay and install about 10 modules to get the same functionality including a WYSIWYG editor and media control.

You'll then spend more time theming the admin interface, setting up those 10 components to work with roles and worrying about where your files are going which might all seem intuitive at the time but then you realise you've wasted 4 days versus the cost of a couple of components with Joomla.

more than 5 years ago

Linked In Or Out?

specific_pacific What's the harm, seriously... (474 comments)

I know a lot of people are REALLY afraid of putting their information online. Companies store it in a database and build a 'profile' of you etc and all that but .. so what?

Is it paranoia or ego like they think people will actually find their life interesting to seek them out or what?

more than 5 years ago

Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development

specific_pacific Re:More details please (73 comments)

Whilst there are restictions in place, if you're using it for the right job then this should never have happened in the first place.

There are bonuses to using Joomla which outweight Drupal in a very strong way. The most important one is how the client will actually be editing content. Drupal doesn't come with a WYSIWYG editor, and it is not integrated in anyway with the CMS itself. Joomla does come with TinyMCE standard and image inserting tools (mambots). Joomla is more for actually putting the content in.

Plone is far superior in this, but Plone developers are expensive, rare and hosting is the same (although perhaps not that expensive?)

Sometimes (most times) more time is spent actually training a client on the inadequacies if inserting content into Drupal rather than teaching them about how to tweak the look and feel of the site. You need a handful of modules added on just give the basic functionality of editing content. Drupal houses have this as part of their workflow, but why should it be? I know there are some heated debates on the forums on it anyway.

The chances of a client who uses a Joomla solution, which is albiet, wanting a vertical brochure website, will pay for updates when exactly? They will only pay for updates when someone tells them it's insecure or perhaps they get hacked. The chances of this actually happening in the 4 years I've been developing websites for customers in both solutions is exactly: 0... they're all still running too.

At the end of the day, think of the client and your costs. Drupal isn't a paradise for designers or developers (but you can argue this), nor is it a paradise for the client. Joomla is better for the client because it's completely logical, and piss easy to include a Pakt book on managing content in your fees for the job. Sure there might be some core hacks, but the job is finished quickly and the client is happy (and you will get recommendations because they actually ENJOY managing their website).

more than 5 years ago

Freelance Web Developer Best Practices?

specific_pacific Billing by the hour (438 comments)

I agree by billing by the hour, and I used to as a freelance, but where my company is it's just not possible. I am in China where there is a severe lack of trust in any work anyone does. There are loads of scammers and 'freelancers' who will undercut you by 90%. Sure the client learns the hard way, but by that stage the damage is done; They still don't trust anyone.

Being a foreigner helps, but there are loads of dodgy foreigners here too.

I bill for vertical solutions and have a process outlined with a scope document and technical specifications that is agreed upon. This works against the agile methodology I'd like to think we follow.

There is also the client expectation on receiving a set price. They all expect a one off cost.

It's not as if we have not tried to bill by the hour or in minimum time slots, but for a set lot of work and to remain competitive, we have to have highly efficient pipelines of work to which the specifications help. I am dealing with English as a second language with my Chinese developers where the eye is trained in English better than the ear. Micromanagement is key and adds a huge overhead to a project that may or may not be billed.

We make more profit off hosting and support maintenance than the contract itself. Everything, and I mean everything, is written down. We use activeCollab to receive support tickets and use the time billing feature where we do work based on a pre-purchased set of hours. This might seem like overkill, but it shows a great sense of organisation on our part, and responsibility for the client to use the proper channels. This means you are in charge, you run the show. If it's written down, it's traceable even if it is your own fault.

Needless to say, a lot of these decisions were forged over time and experience in this seemingly odd industry in China.

Customers pay for quality, and they pay for referrals. New customers whine about cost until they hear horror stories of simple things gone wrong. I can count into the hundreds of the times we spent salvaging projects which amount to a cost the client cannot manage and ends up being burnt by their experience of misplaced trust of just wanting a website.

In the opposite side of things, some clients expect rock bottom prices for being in a 3rd world country. Somewhere along the lines they have read an article on outsourcing from places like rent-a-coder. We don't bother with them. They will learn the hard way or maybe they will be pleased; Good luck to them and their risks ;)

Another point, which is bidding for work on those freelancer sites. I find it devalues the profession - Don't do it. The companies who do this might be starting out and need some cost cutting, and there are arguments for global economy etc, but you do not want their work. You are competing with people who are more desperate than you, with lower costs and more corners to cut. This means the client always wins and you lose.

more than 6 years ago


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