The Fourth Law: Working Around | Zen and the Art of website Maintenance

DR 600 '89

First, I have to admit that this blog super “Zen” serie is something I make for my own interest. It still happens that this laws are a bit unordered in my mind so writing them down helps me a lot finding my “Zen” way out of problems.

Second, I’m glad to tell you that finally I bought a motor bike, an old and classy enduro bike, date of matriculation: 17th February ’89, this date kicked me hard when I read it on the papers, but in the end this “Date with destiny” was the trigger to my decision. The bike’s engine works like a charm, but there are still a lot of fixes and improvements to make. So wish me luck and to be able to follow my own “jokey laws”.

The last week I spoke about keeping the move going, it’s good for your mental health. So now lets say that you had your break, a little pause to the “game of the fixes” that now have to end. What to do next?

4. Work around.

Working around is like improvisation, it requires practice and attitude.

The Third Law: Dynamism | Zen and the Art of website Maintenance

Solar System Dynamics

The third rule is all about dynamism.

Don’t stare at me with that look, I’m not your life coach and I know it sounds really obvious.

Also, I know that in the previous post I promised you that the third law would have talked about “working around stuff”, but after a week I’ve changed my mind and I’ve decided that this topic should come first. That’s because dynamism have always been very important to me, it saved me from many headaches.

Cool off anyway, I’m no sportsman, so I’m not talking about physical exercise, listen up:

3. Keep moving.

Very simple, no?

The second law: prevention | Zen and the Art of website Maintenance

Prevention: one apple a day.

We’ve already talked about the first law, learning trough errors, build up experience!

The second law, comes as a consequence of my really long experience in making mistakes. That’s it, really long!

The second law states about prevention:

2. Don’t create the problem

There are many creative and, more or less, funny ways to create a problem:

  • The one I hate the most is related to promising something you can’t achieve. There are limits, technology limits, human limits or time related limits, do not promise stuff beyond these limits, you are adding a problem to a problem. Do not promise things you can’t achieve! Never!
  • The most creative way to generate a problem is trying to make things differently even when in the end you are making things more complicated. If it works well maybe its the right time to spend your energy and you efforts on something else. If wheels have always been round there is a reason, do not try to change the way they works if they are already simple to make.
  • The least creative way is letting things happen, being idle, while the world changes. The world changes fast, the web even faster, try not to be lazy on that update that you have to make on the server, if you let it be you know what is going to happen next: performance loss, crashes, ecc. Problems you didn’t need.

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.

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 and you’re going to know why reading trough.

To be honest my experience with motorcycles lacks of exciting 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.

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.


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