New York Law School - Site Redesign and CMS Conversion


The client requires an updated website that has multiple features and services not found on the previous website. The focus of the site is to take advantage of web 2.0 aesthetics while providing communication and publishing mechanisms such as RSS and syndication strategies. I was tasked with developing the website look and feel and implementing complex javascript and css techniques using several javascript libraries.


The solution was to use several different open source and licensed technologies to meet the client's requirements. The development team implemented several different tools to address each of the clients service requirements.


As of this entry the project is not finished. I have moved on to another set of projects but have provided the theme development and integration of the theme into the designated CMS system.

Robert's Thoughts

On this project my role was development support, the technical design and architecture strategy were defined by 3rd party consultants and a non technical manager. As a result I felt the technical solution was going to fail horribly. Perhaps the first revision may actually get accomplished but future maintenance would be a nightmare. I don't have a complete handle on how many different open source packages were used but I believe the number was over five. Five different systems with different application designs and libraries. At least all of the open source packages were using the same language (php) and database (mysql) that will give some sanity to an already messed up effort.

DHTML navigation: The challenge in implementing the menuing system was the broad browser specifications that needed to supported. Providing bleeding edge cross-browser javascript on a large number of browsers is very hard. Making the menu look exactly as the photoshop comp was designed in multiple browsers across multiple platforms almost impossible. The only positive experience was getting exposure to the prototype and scriptaculous javascript libraries.

Concrete CMS: I have nothing but contempt for this product, it was not intended to be a product used outside of the company that created it. Yet for some reason it was used on this project for the CMS. Top issues with this "product" (I use the term loosely) was no documentation, no code comments, painful configuration and setup, and no support. All of the aforementioned issues made development and customization of the system a nightmare.

Cake: All of the open source products were installed in sub-directories with each having a specific configuration and programming model. The consultant decided to use cake to seam together all of the different packages to provide a consolidated management interface. Sadly he wasn't using the current version or attempting to program in it required figuring out what wasn't support with the version used.




Start Date: 


End Date: