Commentary

New Semester, New Perspectives

It's a brand-new semester, and you know what that means!  Redesigning websites from the ground up, of course!

As the webmaster of 3 different university organizations, it falls to me to keep sites up to date.  Not usually in terms of content and information, but rather through updated UI, expanded features, and a greater level of usability going forward.  Since the sites I administrate are fairly small, and because I'm learning new tricks all the time, it is often simpler to restructure my sites from the ground up, each iteration making them more streamlined, functional, and elegent (Thank Edgar Codd for relational databases).

As I rework and restructure my sites, I'm continually amazed at the revisions that naturally seem to flow from my fingers.  The old paradigms I designed entire features around are gone now - replaced by faster, more robust alternatives that would have been almost impossible to reverse-engineer into the system.

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It's an incredible luxury to be able to rebuild everything from the ground up - but unfortunately it's a luxury that can't be shared in many systems we rely on every day.  Most cable internet consumers are relying on systems that haven't changed drastically in over a decade.  Our transportation infrastructure in many cases is half a century old.  Telephone companies are tremendous innovators, but those telephone lines have been there for decades.  The same goes for water and power.

Why? Expense - it's much cheaper to retrofit and work around the current system than it is to rip it all out and start anew.  And yet, there is a clarity of design and an influx of creativity when one has the opportunity to solve a problem in a completely new way.  It's just a pity that it can't be taken advantage of all the time in the real world.

1 comment about "New Semester, New Perspectives".
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  1. Patrick Aievoli from theCampusCenter.com, LLC, February 16, 2009 at 9:53 a.m.

    When you get a chance give me a review of my website in Digital Frontiers.
    http://www.thecampuscenter.com
    Register for Free and see what you think.
    It's meant to help with research and to provide Web applications for students from anywhere.

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