mergers and acquisitions

An underlying project that I have been slowly working on the last few weeks is our module based intranet project.  We plan to use it not only for us as a test bed, to keep track of our contacts with clients, projects, websites etc., but also as a demo tool, showing some of our programming capabilities.  This project is basically a culmination of many of the larger projects we’ve done in the past two or three years.  The problem is, that my programming style has changed greatly over the last two to three years.  Not only that, but we’ve jumped from ColdFusion 4.5 to ColdFusion 7, which adds more capabilities and functions to ColdFusion than I really want to think about, because it can get a little overwhelming.

So the difficult part of putting this project together isn’t so much the logic and planning, it’s scraping together the bits and pieces of the old projects and making it all uniform and really plug and play, so that modules can be added and accessed without having to go through a huge change in programming.  This is the key step, because once this part is done, we will be able to have any and all of our programmers contribute to the future of the project.  In the meantime, what I’m trying to do is get a set of standards together, programming practices if you will, in order to simplify development in the future.

Why is this necessary?  Well, when I first started programming at DDA, ColdFusion was much more limited than it is today.  As new technologies come out, new pieces needed to be added to make development life simpler for the ColdFusion programmer.  It could be easier implementation of java objects, or a new way of looking at programming that seems more like the modern programming languages rather than the top down scripting that we’re all so used to.    So while I go through and rename variables to something more consistent throughout the application, I also have to think about how I can improve or encapsulate the code itself.  It’s not exactly fun, it’s pretty tedious even, but in the end it will make everyone’s life easier.