Not Invented Here syndrome (NIH) is the guilty pleasure that tempts engineering teams into creating bespoke approaches to problems that have already been solved. Even having your eyes opened to the temptation doesn’t immunize you from it. So, how do you know whether a bespoke solution warrants the effort or if it’s just plain hubris?
In the movie industry, every project always comes with a comprehensive list at the end of everyone whose hard work and dedication made the film successful. I like the idea of bringing this tradition to the web and interactive media sphere, so in that spirit I want to recognize all the people who contributed to this fantastic project.
First and foremost, the project team here at Alley Interactive stepped up in a heroic fashion and really worked overtime to deliver the work to spec and on time. Besides myself, Alley co-founder Austin Smith headed up content migration and infrastructure oversight. Mai Irie built a remarkable print-and-online subscriptions processing system and a number of other key site features. Drew Machat delivered expert customizations of Drupal internals and built the much-lauded multi-device position syncing feature. Bridget McNulty is our ace project manager and kept everyone’s heads on straight, and frankly everyone who works here deserves some credit for making Alley such a supportive and congenial team to be part of.
The project team at Hard Candy Shell – Doug Pfeffer, Courtney Lewis and Kevin Kearney – delivered a truly next-generation design and front-end implementation that recognizes the demand for conciseness and simplicitly mixed with aesthetic boldness, and appropriately addresses the importantance of mobile devices in online media consumption.
The New Republic‘s business and tech staff were right there in the trenches with us, especially Justen Fox, Shant Mesrobian and Sloan Eddleston. And course, TNR‘s new publisher and editor-in-chief Chris Hughes had the vision and motivation to bring a venerable property like TNR to the cutting edge of interactive media.
Newpublic.com is hosted by Pantheon Systems out in San Francisco. The help of Josh Koenig, David Strauss, Scott Massey and Nick Stielau was critical in ensuring a smooth and timely launch, and went particularly above and beyond is helping us load-test the site to ensure it was production-ready the second we launched it. The flawless performance against massive initial traffic speaks for itself; we’ve watched Pantheon’s product grow over the last few years and I really don’t think you can do much better in terms of Drupal-as-a-service hosting.
The seamless spoken word versions of stories are provided by SpokenLayer, and the support and guidance of Will Mayo and Grant Robertson was key in integrating it. Stefan Beeli and Arti Dutt at ESP Computer Systems worked with us on integrating the new site with TNR‘s print fulfillment operation.
And as always, thanks is due to everyone in the Drupal community who has worked on core or contrib modules for building such a flexible and multifaceted platform.
A lot of pathbreaking new technologies were employed or even invented for this site. Once the dust has cleared a little bit, we will aim to discuss and share some of the details of these features in more depth on this blog, so stay tuned!