[TYPO3-english] Customers and Extensions

Dmitry Dulepov dmitry.dulepov at gmail.com
Mon Nov 10 09:36:37 CET 2008


Basically Gorg already said it all :) I have only personal
experience to add :)

Mark Kuiphuis wrote:
> However: it could be me, but I have the general feeling that a customer
> wants to have some specific functionality in his/her site, but doesn't
> have the detailed picture in his mind yet.
> They initially provide us with a "sort of" description how it should be.
> First of all, we are going to look if there are any extensions which
> might do the job (why invent the wheel twice) and install, configure the
> extension.
> But then, when they have seen something visually, they want to have this
> feature added, that feature deleted, since they are not going to use it
> anyway, etc. etc. How do you normally handle these requests.

Well, I prefer different approach. Studies show that costs of the
project grow higher with each day. The cheapest is to clarify
everything before you do any implementation.

As you see, your current way requires you get some words from
customer, do a research on existing extensions, show alternatives to
customers, listen to his clarified requirements, do research again, etc.

I usually do different. When customer says what he wants, I try to
write precise requirements from his wishes. Sometimes I sketch UI
using OmniGraffle (it is a Visio–like software for Mac). Next I
quickly ("quickly" is important!) check if there are any extensions
that suites the requirements. If an extension is well–coded and
suites most requirements, I clarify requirements so that they suite
to the client. Next I write why each requirement should work this
way and not the other. It becomes pretty large document, can be 10
pages or more with pictures. Then I send it to customer. Customer
checks the document and usually finds it satisfying. They see
clarity and good arguments. I usually try to cover even minor
details because minor things are those things that people usually
see different. Sometimes I have to add some functionality but mostly
I am able to meet together customer's requirements and extensions.
However if I cannot find extension or it does not work fully as
expected, I still write requirements and I know precisely how I will
implement the functionality: hook to an existing extension, create
an XCLASS or my own extension.

In any case I do everything to clarify requirements before any real
work. Once I have clear requirements I can start fulfilling them.
There is no point at all working without clear requirements: it is a
complete loss of precious time.

> Since I am fairly new (brand new to be honest) in regards to extension
> development (still eagerly waiting for Dmitry's book to arrive, ordered
> the book over 2 weeks ago :-( ) I don't feel comfortable modifying

There is a big amount of orders, so it takes time to deliver. They
print on demand. My own copy was delivered last week (ordered in the
beginning of October).

Dmitry Dulepov
TYPO3 translations support
My TYPO3 book: http://www.packtpub.com/typo3-extension-development/book
In the blog:

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