Author Topic: New audax.uk site  (Read 13933 times)

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2018, 02:59:26 pm »
The current lack of the 'My calendar' page is mildly irksome, but I guess that will be addressed in time.

I found the equivalent, the only thing I'm not sure about on it is whether it makes sense for the Maybe and Entered events to be in the same listing.
I suspect it does, as it'll make it easier to see when you've entered one and not removed it from the maybes at the cost of having to check the entered/maybe column rather than bounce between two lists of events (or it could remove clashes between entered and maybes automatically???)


150k for a front end to and existing system's no a bad price, that's roughly the cost of 3 "man years".

As for the order of doing things,
Writing a front end that hooks into a legacy back end first makes sense to me.
Provided good practices are followed and the new back end will expose the same data or similar enough data, then the effort to change the front end is considerably less than making an old back end expose legacy interfaces to an old front end or hacking the old front end to pieces in order to make it work with the new back end.



Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2018, 03:09:40 pm »
150k for a front end to and existing system's no a bad price, that's roughly the cost of 3 "man years".

It's an off-the-shelf CMS with a few bits that pull in data from the old system. It's the kind of thing I used to knock up in a couple of weeks start-to-finish when I did this for a day job. Granted I think there's some designer time and management time on top of that but the idea anyone would think this is three man-years of work is mind boggling.

quixoticgeek

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2018, 03:33:17 pm »
150k for a front end to and existing system's no a bad price, that's roughly the cost of 3 "man years".

It's an off-the-shelf CMS with a few bits that pull in data from the old system. It's the kind of thing I used to knock up in a couple of weeks start-to-finish when I did this for a day job. Granted I think there's some designer time and management time on top of that but the idea anyone would think this is three man-years of work is mind boggling.

Agreed.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2018, 03:48:16 pm »
150k for a front end to and existing system's no a bad price, that's roughly the cost of 3 "man years".

It's an off-the-shelf CMS with a few bits that pull in data from the old system. It's the kind of thing I used to knock up in a couple of weeks start-to-finish when I did this for a day job. Granted I think there's some designer time and management time on top of that but the idea anyone would think this is three man-years of work is mind boggling.

Never said it was actually 3 man years of development work, only compared it cost wise.

Also are you viewing it from the position of someone that's only had a view of the small section of development or having taken things from the initial contact through to deliver?

One of my colleagues is particularly bad for the former and thinks that a year long project with 1 developer being paid £25k gross only costs £25k to do...
Completely ignoring the fact there's 3 tiers of managers, a Business Analyst, accommodation costs (services, rates etc.), pension costs, Employer NICS, insurance costs... also to factor in on top of that "£25k" of developer

j_a_m_e_s_

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2018, 04:03:33 pm »
Given that the new site is wholly dependent upon the "legacy site", when will I be forced to use the new site the "legacy site" be getting switched off?
Rule 77

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2018, 04:18:34 pm »
150k for a front end to and existing system's no a bad price, that's roughly the cost of 3 "man years".

It's an off-the-shelf CMS with a few bits that pull in data from the old system. It's the kind of thing I used to knock up in a couple of weeks start-to-finish when I did this for a day job. Granted I think there's some designer time and management time on top of that but the idea anyone would think this is three man-years of work is mind boggling.

Never said it was actually 3 man years of development work, only compared it cost wise.

Also are you viewing it from the position of someone that's only had a view of the small section of development or having taken things from the initial contact through to deliver?

One of my colleagues is particularly bad for the former and thinks that a year long project with 1 developer being paid £25k gross only costs £25k to do...
Completely ignoring the fact there's 3 tiers of managers, a Business Analyst, accommodation costs (services, rates etc.), pension costs, Employer NICS, insurance costs... also to factor in on top of that "£25k" of developer

So to be clear, how long do you think this has taken? Do you really think it is value for money?

£150K seems like an exorbitant amount to me.

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2018, 04:37:04 pm »
So to be clear, how long do you think this has taken? Do you really think it is value for money?

£150K seems like an exorbitant amount to me.

I have no idea how long it's taken to get to this point but from what I've read it seems it's taken a surprisingly long time which suggests there are other factors driving up the costs (such as requirements changes).

What I can say is that £150k is a piss in the ocean compared to the cost of the stuff I work on, but then that includes complex health care systems costing multi-millions of pounds, complex interfacing and nightmarish supplier relations.

It does seem a lot for "just a website" but it's quite clear that the AUK site is not "just a website" as it's doing a fair bit more than just showing content thrown up by someone typing into a WYSIWYG editor.
It also doesn't fit into the standard "eCommerce" template as you aren't just putting products from a list into a cart and then hitting buy either.

It's very definitely a bespoke solution with very specific requirements that are likely only found in the AUK requirements (although I suppose you could skin it and sell it to other Audax bodies...).
Without seeing the scope or requirements I could never say it's definitely £150k worth of work (or how long it would take me to do, or how much I'd charge if I had done it), but it does not particularly surprise me that it's cost this much based on what I've read and can see it doing.


Bianchi Boy

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2018, 04:42:15 pm »
The finished website is like a work of art and we are not paying for the amount of work, but for the lifetime of experience!

By the way my company pays £1,000 a day for many consultants, so this may just be six months work.

Also how were the design workshops and conceptual models funded?

After spending some time looking around and comparing to what we generate at work it looks like poor value for money.

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2018, 04:50:35 pm »
One of my colleagues is particularly bad for the former and thinks that a year long project with 1 developer being paid £25k gross only costs £25k to do...
Completely ignoring the fact there's 3 tiers of managers, a Business Analyst, accommodation costs (services, rates etc.), pension costs, Employer NICS, insurance costs... also to factor in on top of that "£25k" of developer

In my job it was just me and a mate (who did sales and management) and the occasional contract designer. It's possible to do these things in a more AUK way without "three tiers of management" as if that's an essential part of putting up a simple website!

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2018, 04:55:19 pm »
I don't think it meets basic accessibility guidelines. See https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

Tried to use the site in Firefox using a keyboard. Couldn't see where the focus was. It needs a proper accessibility audit.
Hear all, see all, say nowt

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2018, 05:01:28 pm »
In my job it was just me and a mate (who did sales and management) and the occasional contract designer. It's possible to do these things in a more AUK way without "three tiers of management" as if that's an essential part of putting up a simple website!

True, but for whatever reason contracting a reasonable sized company has been done and is being paid for.

But it's not just a simple website or CMS system as it's got bespoke data feeds which automatically means more complexity

This is something we've had some headbanging about at work, apparently an EPR system for a healthboard is just a simple system too...
That's why when they bought one it cost a few million quid for the off the shelf part, took months to implement and a few hundred thousand more to integrate with our other systems.
And all it does is books patients into hospital, flows them through hospital and downloads demographics from the national store system.





Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2018, 05:16:24 pm »
True, but for whatever reason contracting a reasonable sized company has been done and is being paid for.

I have no problem seeing how asking a big company to do something a bit fiddly and dragging out the project for years lands you with such a big bill. The problem is that no other approach seems to have been considered and the same approach is being taken with phases 2, 3 and 4 without even the briefest moment of taking stock first.

Quote
And all it does is books patients into hospital, flows them through hospital and downloads demographics from the national store system.

The website (in Phase 1) doesn't really do anything transactional though. It just pulls in some small bits of data from the old database.

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2018, 05:22:05 pm »
Tried to use the site in Firefox using a keyboard. Couldn't see where the focus was. It needs a proper accessibility audit.

This was mentioned during the Reunion Demo. It's on the List of ToDos, apparently.

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2018, 05:26:09 pm »
The website (in Phase 1) doesn't really do anything transactional though. It just pulls in some small bits of data from the old database.

From the August statement
"The significant cost overrun was mainly to do with the interfacing between the new site and existing databases"

If that's still the case then it's not the website itself that's caused the cost to be so high, though at that time it was said "Phase 1 had itself cost in excess of £90k" which I take to mean "between 90 and 100k" not £150k but of course that was in August.

Unsurprisingly it's the bit that could be described as "difficult" that's been pointed at for the cost at that time.


The website is submitting data to the legacy databases in terms of entering events, so not just reading data but that's not going to be particularly difficult in itself.

In terms of interfacing, what is the database?
I'm having great fun trying to connect to legacy Oracle 8i systems since Oracle stopped supporting it about 10 years ago; and the Oracle 10g databases are only just still connectible.

If it's some obscure system (I also note that rewriting some elements of the database is mentioned) that could also be an issue, did someone have to write a connector in order to get access to it from modern tooling?

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2018, 05:37:23 pm »
The website is submitting data to the legacy databases in terms of entering events, so not just reading data but that's not going to be particularly difficult in itself.

If you try to enter an event (or do anything else) you get redirected to AUKWeb.

Quote
If it's some obscure system (I also note that rewriting some elements of the database is mentioned) that could also be an issue, did someone have to write a connector in order to get access to it from modern tooling?

MySQL. For which there is a first-party .Net connector.

wilkyboy

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #65 on: November 20, 2018, 05:38:30 pm »
My first reaction when I saw it was "Looks like something someone with the right knowledge could bash out with Wordpress in about a month" ... [blatant snip]

Exactly — my initial thought was "my 19-year-old son could've done this ... when he was 15".  Even with the database parts, I cannot see how we could've spent more than about £35k — £90-150k is taking the proverbial.

I had to back down at the AGM when I argued all this, simply because the decision by then had already been taken and approved.  However, I noted at the time that we really should have a clear strategy for limiting spend, and also for re-growing the cash-pile — something that has since been put into action by the board with the hike in fees.
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2018, 05:42:32 pm »
On Calendar Events under Advanced Search I can now filter out events that do not support PayPal - nice work!

Works in Permanent Events too; bonus, might encourage a few dinosaurs to join the information super highway.

You might consider being a little less judgemental.  Audax UK is a broad church and throwing insults at organisers because they have no confidence or interest in setting up digital payments is unwarranted.  I keep having to remind youngsters that we all managed to survive without TV, computers, t'Internet, mobile phones, etc., and we were just fine.  At least those members have stepped up and organised something — for that you should be grateful rather than condescending, don't you think?
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

wilkyboy

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #67 on: November 20, 2018, 05:56:24 pm »
I never look at perms, but having read that and looked, I see 22 pages. I don't know it's 22 for me and 36 for someone else. Screen size?

I see 1 page with a filterable and pageable list of rides.
This is normal practice for displaying data on a web page.
What isn't normal practice is preventing people from selecting how many they want to see on each data page.

It may be 'normal practice', but it doesn't make it right — "doing what has always been done" has been proven highly unreliable as a metric of efficacy.  If someone had really thought about it, would it have been so bad to just list them all on one page by default?

To be clear, on the OLD site ALL the perms are visible with just ONE click from anywhere on the site, and then scrolling — you can find my events with ONE click and scroll down.

On the NEW site then the first click (which requires a mouse-over-then-move to get to) gives you Nephi Alti and Dave Atkinson's events, plus a few others' — lucky them, woohoo.  To get anyone else's events then users must scroll to the bottom and click Next as many times as required, scrolling up to see the list, and then back to the bottom to click Next again.

There is no sign-posting and absolutely no shortcutting.  AND, because in their lack of UX skills wisdom the developers chose to set up the pagination using POST instead of GET AJAX instead of page-reload using querystring (or even RESTful-type URL) then it's not even possible for me to provide deep-links to the page that contains my permanent events.

So, basically, to find any of my Cambridge events requires AT LEAST 22 clicks — yes, twenty-two clicks!! — and many scrolls, simply because I was born a W  ???

FFS — I have spent an enormous amount of time and effort building a presence in Cambridge for audax, and it has been trivialised into something stuffed down the back of the sofa in one fell swoop by people not thinking about real users and use cases.  Cheers for that — that helps  >:(
RRTY #7 done.  Need something else to do ... ah, welcome #8 8)

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #68 on: November 20, 2018, 06:09:40 pm »
Tried to use the site in Firefox using a keyboard. Couldn't see where the focus was. It needs a proper accessibility audit.

This was mentioned during the Reunion Demo. It's on the List of ToDos, apparently.

Accessibility  is a fundamental and legislative requirement. It should have been in the minimal viable product. Bolting it on afterwards is so wrong in so many ways.
Hear all, see all, say nowt

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #69 on: November 20, 2018, 06:25:47 pm »
Tried to use the site in Firefox using a keyboard. Couldn't see where the focus was. It needs a proper accessibility audit.

This was mentioned during the Reunion Demo. It's on the List of ToDos, apparently.

Accessibility  is a fundamental and legislative requirement. It should have been in the minimal viable product. Bolting it on afterwards is so wrong in so many ways.

On public sector websites that might be the case, but on private websites thats simply not true hence why many websites are not very accessible - it'll be on the to-do list somewhere I would imagine.

Presumably they will add ARIA markup at a later point, if they've used Bootstrap, Bulma or UIKit or a similar framework it will be straightforward to add that stuff in.
Frequent Audax and bike ride videos:

https://www.youtube.com/user/djrikki2008/videos

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #70 on: November 20, 2018, 06:50:29 pm »
On public sector websites that might be the case,

Oops. Yes, you're right. Forgot it's a private site. Stick by the rest of what I said though.
Hear all, see all, say nowt

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #71 on: November 20, 2018, 07:17:03 pm »
The website is submitting data to the legacy databases in terms of entering events, so not just reading data but that's not going to be particularly difficult in itself.

If you try to enter an event (or do anything else) you get redirected to AUKWeb.

Quote
If it's some obscure system (I also note that rewriting some elements of the database is mentioned) that could also be an issue, did someone have to write a connector in order to get access to it from modern tooling?

MySQL. For which there is a first-party .Net connector.

Is the Aukweb redirect the state Phase 1 will end at?

MySQL... other than  :sick:  yeah that's not obscure at all which makes it off that writing a new events database was necessary, unless the original database design was horrific...

Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #72 on: November 20, 2018, 07:30:57 pm »
So to be clear, how long do you think this has taken? Do you really think it is value for money?

£150K seems like an exorbitant amount to me.

I have no idea how long it's taken to get to this point but from what I've read it seems it's taken a surprisingly long time which suggests there are other factors driving up the costs (such as requirements changes).

What I can say is that £150k is a piss in the ocean compared to the cost of the stuff I work on, but then that includes complex health care systems costing multi-millions of pounds, complex interfacing and nightmarish supplier relations.

It does seem a lot for "just a website" but it's quite clear that the AUK site is not "just a website" as it's doing a fair bit more than just showing content thrown up by someone typing into a WYSIWYG editor.
It also doesn't fit into the standard "eCommerce" template as you aren't just putting products from a list into a cart and then hitting buy either.

It's very definitely a bespoke solution with very specific requirements that are likely only found in the AUK requirements (although I suppose you could skin it and sell it to other Audax bodies...).
Without seeing the scope or requirements I could never say it's definitely £150k worth of work (or how long it would take me to do, or how much I'd charge if I had done it), but it does not particularly surprise me that it's cost this much based on what I've read and can see it doing.


We are not the only ones doing something like this.  Lots of volunteers, low entry fees, not for profit etc etc.  I wonder how our TT colleagues came up with their site?  I was not TT-ing when they migrated to it, so I don't know the costings.  I used it a lot last year and found it very easy/functional.  https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/
Organising an October running of The Tour of Rheged from Witherslack Village Hall in S Lakes.  May Lakes audaxes should run in 2020.

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #73 on: November 20, 2018, 07:41:56 pm »
I never look at perms, but having read that and looked, I see 22 pages. I don't know it's 22 for me and 36 for someone else. Screen size?

I see 1 page with a filterable and pageable list of rides.
This is normal practice for displaying data on a web page.
What isn't normal practice is preventing people from selecting how many they want to see on each data page.

It may be 'normal practice', but it doesn't make it right — "doing what has always been done" has been proven highly unreliable as a metric of efficacy.  If someone had really thought about it, would it have been so bad to just list them all on one page by default?


The paging appears to issue a server call to get the list for each page which is usually done when there's lots of data necessitating the paging at a technical level.
I have in the past managed to overload a desktop web browser by loading too much into a datagrid similar to the one on the screen, that was considerably more that 535 rows though.
My instant thought for this design is "mobile devices", less memory, less screen and fall over sooner if you have too much in the DOM.
But as I said earlier I avoid Front end development if I can.
It could of course also be the only option in the framework they've used... Which leads to a rant about one of my former bosses picking a UI library with an arsehole of a developer who seemed to take great joy in slagging off anyone that was developing for IE and was generally unhelpful... guess what browser we're required to target...

The functionality of the permanents list filter seems to be considerably more restricted than the calendar events page too.
If the postcode search box was working or a drop down of organizers provided that would be a start to making it easier to find the various perms.

Although I just typed your surname into the Search Text and got a list of your perms.
9 keystrokes and a click
Typing Cambridge in there doesn't save any keystrokes but gives the same result


Plenty of JQuery showing up, going to have a dig around.

FifeingEejit

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Re: New audax.uk site
« Reply #74 on: November 20, 2018, 07:52:56 pm »
We are not the only ones doing something like this.  Lots of volunteers, low entry fees, not for profit etc etc.  I wonder how our TT colleagues came up with their site?  I was not TT-ing when they migrated to it, so I don't know the costings.  I used it a lot last year and found it very easy/functional.  https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/

They've paid someone: https://www.xncreations.com
Seems to be Bootstrap based

The VTTA appear to use the same website as an "oh that looks nice and right up our street" thing (according to the blurb) but the majority of their sites appear to be sports targeted.
Whether AUK could/should have contracted them rather than wots their face is a procurement thing of course...

One thing I did notice when having a shufty at their JavaScript is there are a lot of references to being directed to the "old system"; so it looks like they may have taken a clean break approach (possibly not even migrating data between the systems as it does mention that your user accounts differ between them)
which is always going to be a cheaper option.