Lessons Learned

Even though I had a wonderful time, there are definately some things I'd warn you about...

First, don't be in your own group... it is definately a lot of work. I would have loved to make the project larger in size, but I simply didn't have the manpower to do the task. I'm writing the Documentation during exam week for goodness sakes! Anyway, if you don't know HTML, image processing techniques on Photoshop, and don't know file structures of servers, you will definately have a hard time. Even though I know all three, I had a definate time hardship. So if you don't like working hard, don't be by yourself!

Second, don't assume the page you created on your Win95 machine works on a Mac or an SGI machine identically. Always test other platforms with the same software. I was testing the Website with Netscape Navigator 3.0 on the three platforms and I have to say each handles things differently. Fonts you use on a Win95 machine look half as big on a Mac. JavaScript...be VERY careful and test extensively if you use JavaScript for intensive front end designs that realy on Java. The JAva that worked perfectly on the Win95 was ignored by the Macintosh and crashed an SGI Indigo. Always design thinking some people could be using Netscape 1.12 somewhere in the world.

Third, start early! Even if you are designing the structure, start scanning photos and such that you know you will be using. It will save a LOT of time later.

Fourth, find our early who will be taking over the site and where it will go because what is the point of creating something people won't use? Also, if you are designing with complex CGIs, make sure they will work on each platform.

Fifth, use relative references to images and documents. If you don't, you will have to go back and edit all the references when the projects finds a final home.

Andrius Benokraitis, December 12 1996.