For the first time in a couple weeks, I am feeling pretty good about the status of my Collegian project. We have been toiling in PHP and mySQL for 3 months now and have very little to show for our work. I am not sure anyone at the Collegian is really too disappointed with us, but we are disappointing ourselves. The systems manager pointed out a project at USA Today, with a much smaller scope and a lot more resources, took 4 months. Still, I felt like we were stuck in the road. I have been waiting for some externality to happen that would jumpstart development. It did today and it came from an unlikely source: Microsoft.
When we proposed our project last spring, we used the concept of using open source software as a cost saving measure and a learning experience for students. And I did learn a good deal. Unfortunately neither myself or my partner on the project had a whole lot of coding experience. This makes starting from scratch on a new content management system very difficult.
We had been making our cake from scratch, the news advisor noted, and we need a cake mix. So we’ve decided we’re going to chose ASP.NET 2.0 as our cake mix. Microsoft’s new Visual Web Developer really impressed us and its free to boot. I actually have less experience with ASP, but I have found a wealth of resouces out there to help me catch up. A big selling point, though, was the master template system and some of the other controls offered.
We still aren’t completely sure how we’re going forward. I’m not sure whether we’ll use MS SQL Server. We may try to still use MySQL or we may scale back our proposal and use static pages for the time being. There wasn’t anything wrong with PHP and I would definitely use it other scenarios. I do think that ASP may end up being better for this situation though. The good thing is I am feeling better about the project now and I am actually looking forward to programming again.