My main project reaches milestone two

This post was originally posted on G3D Development, I’m cross posting it here because it is just as much a personal post as it is a work related post, I’m proud to have reached milestone two, Dlayer has been a big part of my life for seven years.

Original post:

I started Dlayer in 2008, so much has changed in the last seven years, the internet as a whole, mobile apps and devices, web browsers and my life. I have been married for four years and now have a two year old running around the house causing mayhem, two things that I never expected to happen seven years ago.

There are however two things that have remained constant, the first being my determination to complete the Dlayer alpha and the second being the milestones I set to track the development of Dlayer.

I set five major milestones for Dlayer in 2008, I needed five markers by which I could measure my progress, seven years is a long time, an eternity. On the 26th May 2015 at 12:08 with release v0.75 the second milestone was reached.

It has not taken seven years to get to this point, if you check the ‘History’ page on Dlayer.com or G3D Development you will be able to see that development on the current version didn’t start until 2010. Five years is still a long time but as I have written before, I’m working on this project in my own time at my own cost, under those terms finding development time can be very difficult, especially with a young child.

It will not take two years to hit the next milestone, that I can guarantee, the tasks for the third milestone are all in my short term development plan and according to my planning tool it should be reached within the next four or five iterations assuming my design is solid, obviously I am not going to give a specific timeframe here, anytime you set a date…well, you know what happens.

Listed below are the five major milestones for Dlayer, I don’t know what is going to happen once milestone five is reached, I can only hope, I do however have a suspicion that before anything else, my wife will order me to take a break.

1st Milestone (1st Feb 2014): Modules communicating.

There are many modules, or designers in Dlayer, v0.12 was the first time that more than two of the designers were communicating with each other. A content page is based upon a template created in the Template designer and forms can be imported from the Form builder into the Content manager as content items.

2nd Milestone (May 26th 2015): Images

Although it is possible to create a very nice looking focused web site that does not use any images it is rare, in my opinion, images are a necessity on the web. With v0.75 images became a reality, the basics of an Image library are in place and images can be inserted as simple content items in the Content manager.

3rd Milestone: Dynamic content (Form builder and Simple widgets)

Data, data, data…..this will be the point at which parts of Dlayer consume user data, a major stepping stone to milestone five.

4th Milestone: Simple web site

Dlayer isn’t very capable if it can’t easily link pages together to create a web site.

5th Milestone: Complex widgets

Almost anything is possible with complex widgets.

Imminent return to contracting

I’ve taken the majority of the last two years off work to help my wife raise our new son and also work on my own project, Dlayer.com.

Dlayer is not yet ready for promotion but it has improved massively between July 2013 and today, I would have loved to get more done in the time I had but how does the Lennon quote go, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans”.

When CodeSpaces went out of business, like a lot of other people, I lost some stuff, in my case it was just the SVN history for Dlayer but it was still data that I valued and because of the loss I can only look back at Dlayer’s near past.

When I return to work I am going to add a sub domain to Dlayer.com showing  the before and now, mainly for my own purposes but if interested people can see how much it has evolved over time whilst still being very recognisable as Dlayer.

At the moment I am not sure how far back I can go, hopefully two or three years, I have a year of history on GitHub and I made manual backups occasionally by doing an SVN export.

I always enjoy going back to contracting, meeting new people, picking up new ideas, tackling a new problem and generally just working with peers, always something new to learn and you never know where it will come from.