now live

Finally, the cat's out of the bag. It's been a long time in bringing this baby out in the open.

We are really pround of what we've been able to do for this project. Mark has been an exceptional client. Only if all clients were like him.

You can view the site in all it's glory here:


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 Shashwat Parhi
12 Dec, 12:50 PM 

Fear of Failure

Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain, the designer and creator of 31three, has a very interesting blog entry titled Top Three Creativity Killers that discusses 3 reasons that often drain away our creative spirit. The third reason was a real eye opener for me. "Fear of Failure". How very true.

What happens when you involve yourself in a project that is obviously outside your domain of knowledge. As developers, we wish to rise up to the challenge. If we are successful, there is another feather we can proudly add to our already stuffed hats. But what if we fail? Oh, that's not an acceptable outcome.

But sooner or later, fail we will. It is important to be able accept one's limitations and not unnecessarily invite additional pressure upon oneself. So often, I have tried to achieve goals that I have set for the client, which given time and budget constraints, were all the more ridiculous. In the end, we are stuck with a system that doesn't work or falls far too short of our own expectations.

Jesse is absolutely right. Always keep our client's needs above our own. It will help us stay more focused and keep a check on our need to over-achieve...

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 Shashwat Parhi
25 Mar, 09:05 PM 

When Bad Things Happen to Good Projects

As consultants, developers and professionals, we would be lying if we didn't admit that not everything that transpires between us and our clients is wonderful and inspiring. Things go wrong. Great projects get derailed. Relationships sour.

It's not always possible to prevent problems, or even be prepared for them. But we can certainly learn from our mistakes.

Recently, we were working on an e-Commerce store application for a client. We started development on our server before their hosting company was finalised. By the time we were ready to move the site to the clients' hosting space, we realised there were several problems with their hosting setup. They had chosen CrystalTech, a Windows Server environment to host what was basically a PHP/MySQL driven application. Obviously there was only a minimal support for these technologies. The craziest aspect of this setup was that for some strange reason they did not allow subdomains. As parts of the site were already live, we were finding it difficult test the payment gateway and checkout processes without disrupting the rest of the site.

After spending a lot of time figuring out what to do, we broached the subject to our clients. They didn't want to believe us that there were real issues that needed to be considered. Instead they were relying on advice they got from their friends who kept saying how great CrystalTech was in hosting applications. Maybe they were, but this setup wasn't exactly suited to the way we had developed the app.

The project has now come to a stand-still. We will figure out something, but it has somehow ruined relationships with our clients.

The lesson we have learnt: never assume anything regarding hosting. If your client wants to arrange for hosting, then make sure the hosting is setup before you start coding anything or committing to a certain technology. Factor in a certain amount of time and hassles in having to figure out how the hosting company has setup their control panel and
what they support and what they don't. Only after a thorough research should you make a final proposal. Otherwise, failure to do so, will have you end up in the same tight spot as we just found ourselves in.

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 Shashwat Parhi
13 Jan, 04:17 PM 

Expression Engine

Someone once said "What's in a name?" Well, if there really was nothing in the name, I wouldn't have started using Expression Engine when I first stumbled upon it.

It is a web publishing system that is highly flexible. Though it isn't the first-of-its-kind, it is quite certainly the best of its kind. It makes it a pleasure for a user to manage her blog, calender and several other things.

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 Arpan Dhandhania
09 Jan, 12:00 AM 

Crossroad Solutions Redesign

It always seems strange to me that we, as developers, manage to find the time to automate everyone else's life, but never get around applying all those solutions to our own setup.

So, after a couple of years of letting the crossroad website stagnate, we finally decided to revamp it somewhat. While nothing much has changed on the surface, we moved away almost completely from table layouts to CSS layouts.

We've also rewritten the copy to make it less business like. I hope it succeeds in reflecting more honestly, who we are.

We've developed our own CMS and blogging software and I think this is really cool. Now, we can all express ourselves more freely to whoever it is that cares to read the stuff we care to write.

So, look around and let us know what you like and what you don't.

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 Shashwat Parhi
06 Jan, 12:00 AM