The contracting company delivered the content entry system last week – I think it was finally working properly on Friday. We’ve gone through it and I think we have a version we can at least have the editors go through. There were a few consistency issues in the user interface (using return vs. cancel) and some of the functionality doesn’t give any type of response that it worked (did it publish or didn’t it?). But I think we’re on the right track – at least as far as what I think this company can provide us.
They are coding in ASP using Visual Studio – so not only is the coding not great, it’s old style code. They don’t use any type of separation between data objects and business objects – well there aren’t really objects at all. It’s not object oriented, it’s really just line-based code. So in that respect, I’m not very impressed. They also haven’t put in any of the AJAX that we asked for to make the user interface slick and really useful. Why? Because Microsoft hasn’t finishied their implementation into Studio and these guys don’t seem to be able to code anything by hand. Truly frustrating.
Next steps are to go over our list with them tomorrow and to see if we can schedule a run through with a few editors to see what they think. And no, contractors, you will not be sitting with the editors. Why? Because since you cannot even write proper specs, we’re not letting you talk to people who don’t understand coding or how something could work. If it doesn’t work the way it is supposed to now, they’re not going to visualize your grand plan.