A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Friday, August 05, 2005

Developing using blogs

Economist.com is getting a redesign.

Here in the Solutions Delivery team, we have been developing it on both sides of the pond, and email is always clogged, constantly cc'ing people who don't need to be cc'd. So we thought we'd try a blog, it's been a really good way to raise issues and track them and also to note assumptions as we go along. It's all died down a bit now we have delivered some of it and has moved into cc's for bug tracking but it really was a clean way to manage and document progress and issues.... It would of course be a lot better if we could have used the cc system in blog mode however.

This is a call to action. How can we make the cc system better?

Post your comments here.....
More than anything else, I think it would be great if CCs could have multiple owners so that they could appear in a everyone's list simultaneously. Its like pass-the-parcel right now, and the consequence is that a user's CC list really isn't a full and accurate representation of the work they have on the go.

Also, we should find a better way to handle simultaneous updates to CCs; this would obviously be essential for the above.

Finally, I liked the fact that in the previous CC system we could add styles to our text. I realise this was taken out because it was a Java applet and took a while to load, but in this day and age I'm sure we can find a light-weight tool that will do the job (plus, we have faster computers too).
I like FCKEditor, which is similar to the blogging interface on Blogger.com, I am sure whatever we do the the cc system we could incorporate something like that. To be honest, if you could buy blogger.com's software I think it would do great change control.
I'd like the cc interface to be skinnable so that every service could have it's own fields with required and optional interfaces. Something like an xsl style sheet that each team could get coded so we can really move forward in a flexible fashion.
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