Bastard child of a bastard child… Part 3, No more Spectra!

Ray Camden should be interested in this one, even if just for the curiousity value…

Those of you who read this blog with any regularity will know that part of my work is development and maintenance of several websites which originally ran on the Spectra platform. In fact, our entire CMS, our intranet and our main website still do.

At the start of this year, my team and I went to MXDU and were introduced to the wonders of Mach-II. After MXDU, we made the decision to base all new site development and any refactoring on the Mach-II framework. Since that time, we’ve launched three new Mach-II based websites – the National Measurement Institute, DITR Ministers and the National Innovation Council. We have two more sites in final user acceptance and plan to launch them in early 2005.

While each of these sites is Mach-II based, we had to hook into the Spectra CODB, and so we did some butchering of our data listener to make Spectra calls rather than using a proper listener/DAO structure. Well, now it’s been fixed to be pure Mach-II!

Jeremy, one of the very smart guys who works for me has rejigged the whole interface into the Spectra CODB (which we’re keeping) and replaced it with a proper set of listener/DAO interfaces. So, no more Spectra tags! All the nasty Spectra tag calls have been replaced with a single listener and three DAOs – one each for types, objects and properties. It’s very sweet stuff.

What this has allowed us to do is largely eliminate Spectra from our codebase, turning now to pure Mach-II code. We still have a couple of bits of our CMS and main internet site using Spectra code, but those sites are due for review in the next 12-18 months, so we’ll be able to write Spectra out of them completely when we do the redevelopment. We’re now in complete control of the way everything is done into and out of the CODB. We plan to retain the CODB, at least for the time being, as we have a huge volume of content in it.

I’d be happy to talk about this with the curious among you and share the code with anyone out there who wants a peek, just email me at tribatstephencollinsdotorg.

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