This was a massive project in the end, with prices and avalaiblity updated automatically and integration with their back-end accounting systems giving them an end-to-end system.
Programmers solve problems. It's what they do. That's how DevCore came into being. I had a problem I needed to solve that was driving me nuts.
I was building websites with tight timeframes, no budget, no design specs, frantically copy-and-pasting then re-inventing code to enable similar functionality.
In the early days, at NZ Police, downloading a CMS from the web was not an option, so I had to come up with the solutions myself.
Later at Chromtoaster we were using CMSs from the web. Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress were all fine for doing what they were designed for. But what I was building almost never fitted the intended use of the product.
So I had to hack into the core code of the system to make it do what the client wanted.
This was a scary place to be. I still had tight deadlines, and now I needed to get my head around a whole new way of doing things.
I had to fix bugs, security holes you could drive a truck through, and conflicting logic before I even had the chance to build the requested features.
Inevitably this took much longer than if I had built the system myself from scratch.
I spent my weekends and free time after work designing, building, refining my idea of a core framework that would suit my needs.
Then we had a project come up that was just right for a test of the concept. I was given the go-ahead to use DevCore for the website, and started building the site.
It was one of those rare builds where I had all the information I need up front. I knew exactly what I had to build and what functionality was required.
Less than ten days later the site was up and finished (from a developer perspective). Everything worked as it should, all that was needed was for the design to be applied.
Our front end wizard was able to apply the template to the site running live data and videos, which made his job much easier.
This was easily the fastest, most enjoyable site I have ever built. And the client loved it!
Shortly after, the client wanted another version of the site. This one would run a bit differently, but still operate in a similar fashion. This build was even faster. It took an afternoon to set up a new instance and make the necessary changes.
My colleague wanted to have a try with the CMS on a new site he was building, so I gave him a copy of the code and watched as he installed it.
He changed the folders where my code was based. He changed file names to suit what he wanted. In the space of five minutes my lovely structured code was all over the place.
He pulled up the home page of the CMS and naturally he had errors, files not found etc.
It took ten to twenty minutes to change some system constants and test the site structure fully, but in the end he had the site working again.
But now it was in his paradigm, with his folder structure, his filenames, his was of doing things.
We were both quite excited about where this would lead for us as developers. Our lives were about to become a whole lot easier.