Zen and the Art of Websites Maintenance


A long time ago, when I was fourteen my dad gifted me with a book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Of course I read the book, even if I was very young and now as it always happens to me: the memories of the story inside the book are slowly fading away and mixing whit my own experience, but this book is still something I’m really bonded to, you’re going to know why reading trough.

To be honest my experience with motorcycles lacks of extincting maintenance stories but, on the other hand speaking of websites I have much much more to tell.

Fixing websites is my work and my own way to feel that kind of pleasure that only the solution of an hard equation would give.

Still, fixing something is a pleasure and I will not be here ruining yours, talking about how you do fix one particular thing on your website, there is Google for that, I would rater speak of what’s my philosophy on making stuff work again. I have a long list of rules I follow, the first is the one that I will show you today, by far the most general and important. This rule is not mine, it comes directly from Pirsig‘s book:

1. While maintaining a website, never apply more than one change per time.

Let’s say you do have an issue on your website, and you apply a series of changes all together to the system. The system suddenly starts working like a charm. Now, how do you determine what made the website work again? If someone would ask you, “how did you fix it?”. Could you answer? You can’t point out which one of the changes was the solving one.

Make one change, then test, another change, then test again, this is what experience is, else it’s called luck.

Errors are a part of this cycle, to learn from them you have to make them, but always one by one. In the end will come the moment when “that change” is not an error and is also not just an attempt, it’s the solution.

This works for everything, works for life, for spaceships and for computers. It works because even if you weren’t able to find the solution, at least you learned something, but what if in the end after trying everything you had, you still can’t find a fix? There is a time to learn and a time to earn, you don’t earn money with philosophy, trust me, money comes trough the fix. What then?

Then there is another rule, in another post, coming probably next week.



Ethics of cookies

Videeco's logo espresso

Almost everyone here in Italy have his own favourite Bar and this beloved cafe is also the place where the barman doesn’t need to ask you what you want, he/she already knows what you want. You just get trough and ask for “Il solito!” and the barman gives you exactly what you are used to. A good cookie works this way, it is meant to learn to know you.

A cookie (in the web, for sure) is  a little strip of code, which is there to give you the best service at the right moment. To be able to do that, as a good barman, a good cookie have to track you down, to learn how you move and what you want, it must know when to smile and also when it’s time to be serious.

No matter what, you know that when you are entering a store, a shop or a restaurant, someone is watching you to give you the best service hoping that you will come back someday. Or indeed this is the way it should be, not everyone is a good salesman, being a good shop assistant requires talent and efforts. That’s the same we do on the internet, we as developer and designers try to provide the best possible service, using cookies.

In everyone’s life anyway, comes the day when you want to shop, to eat, to drink somewhere where no one is watching you, or at least where no one will remember you for any reason. That’s what I call a natural desire for privacy: “It’s a bad fur day ok? Just leave me alone!” and in this particular days you don’t head to your usual bar, you choose another one to stay on your own.

The same happens with the internet, but while surfing the web, having the perception of someone watching you is not an easy thing to everyone. This isn’t a big deal for my generation, we should know how to get rid of the cookies and how to surf without being tracked, but what about everyone else?

There is a lot of noise and debate around cookies in these days, that’s because the European law will change by the 2nd of june, very soon and in the future if someone wants to surf your website he will have to know that you are using cookies and he also will have to accept that. I must admit that I agree with this new law, it’s a right to everyone to be aware of someone tracking you even if it’s perfectly normal and it is also a good service.

In the end cookies are good, there will be the day when everybody knows that there is a bartender behind the bar, and this kind of laws will no longer be needed, but until that day we will have to be polite and to educate our customers.


Why you should not abuse of the word innovation

Speaking of web, my opinion is that you shouldn’t abuse of the term “Innovation“.

Innovation as a term in the web context is totally pleonastic, since web is continuously evolving, you are adding nothing to the argumentation. Sounds really rhetoric and well, you might look as a startupper.

There is no change when changes becomes the rule, there is just a constant effort to stay updated.


The Italian fear for the Mobilegeddon by Google

Pretty much everything from search to buying has gone mobile in the last few years, that was a lucky shot for us, we loved and actually love responsivness in websites.

A lot of colleagues here in Italy lives in the fear of this new algorithm, I prefer to see it as an opportunity to crawl the SERP. A lot of sites we developed are already mobile friendly and I’m looking forward to see if there will be an actual reward for this choice.

Meanwhile I’m much more concerned about the new cookie privacy legislation which will be taking off in june.


Changing language on our new website

Videeco trough the years has changed many times the layout of his website, now we felt like it’s time to change the language we use too.

There is no doubt, we totally love Italian, and we are proud of our native language, but we must say that english is the actual standard for the ones, like us, who work with the web.

Thats why we are going to mantain our archive of older post written in Italian, but since now on we are gonna write our new stuff in english.

P.S. We hope that you like our new layout, let us know ;)