Well, since Todd went ahead and linked to it, I’ll add that the project I have been working on for the last couple of months is PGA.com as well. My area(s) of the project included a variety of tasks, but the single largest one was building a real time golf scoring system that integrated with a few different XML golf scoring feeds on the back end, and with our content management system for output. Since some of our vendors for scoring had never used XML before, I had the opportunity to actually author my own XML format for golf scoring. I’ve learned a lot along the way about the challenges of using XML for something like this. The vendors that had their own xml formats, by and large, didn’t understand the value of maintaining the semantic nature of the information they were marking up. They were obviously used to output markup, like html, and so combined unlike information into elements, did not name like information attributes consistently, and generally did not implement XML in a manner that made lot of sense. This meant that I had to do some gymnastics to get the information out of the XML in a raw form. One thing I can tell you is that ColdFusion MX might just be the best platform to use for doing XML development available right now. My development time was considerably lower than some of the open source XML software that I have worked with in the past, and I had little trouble adding additional vendors once I had built the initial framework. ColdFusion Components make it much easier to swap out the data layer of an application without having to rewrite everything that sits on top of the data layer. I guess I will post more about this in the coming weeks, we’ve got a lot of other work that we want to do, and some great ideas for future features and development.
The other thing I will comment on now is that this might be the most skilled, top to bottom, team of designers, client side coders, back end developers, content managers, system admins, and project managers that I have worked with to date. Everyone was a real pleasure to work with, and the environment here at CNN Center is a great place to work. This is a good thing considering how many hours I have spent here in the office over the last 24 days. It was certainly made more interesting by the current war situation in Iraq. CNN goes into hyper-mode during these times, and it’s been interesting to see. We also get a bunch of the raw live feeds here in the office that let us get a glimpse behind the broadcast scenes both in the studio here, and out in the field. This week it is all about The Masters though, and I have to get back to my server and feed watching, more later.
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