Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

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July 29th, 2007

It’s alive!

I’ve switched on my new website! It was touch and go as to whether I’d make the end of the month, but I think it’s good enough now to enter an alpha trial. Splash of Wine is a site for gathering information on wines.

KittenThe idea behind it came from my poor knowledge of wine. I occasionally stumble across wines that I really like, and mentally make a note that it was a good one. When next faced with the question of “what wine would you recommend?” I find myself with no answer, I’ve forgotten which wines I like.

Splash of Wine lets you write reviews and rate wines. The reviews can be for your own use, or optionally published so that other users of the site can read them. Over time I hope to build up a log of the wines that I’ve tried, where I’ve bought them, and whether I should buy them again in future.

Although there’s a bunch of additional features that I’d like to implement, the main task for the next few weeks will be to refine the interface and presentation of the existing capabilities. Hopefully I’ll get some feedback from people reading this on what works, and what doesn’t. Please take the time to register and have a look around!


Picture: Five week old kitten – not related to wine at all, but it might act as a bribe to get some feedback on the site!

July 10th, 2007

The cunning plan

Columns in EdinburghSince the end of May I’ve been working on a new website. It’s not ready yet, but it’s slowly approaching the point of being “ready enough” to reveal to the world. While it’s good to be working on a personal project after such a long time of focusing on paid-for-work, it has meant that free time has once again been sorely lacking for other things.

The plan is to have the site live by the end of the month, or shortly there after. This leaves me with two weeks in which to:

  • Improve the design, particularly around the search results
  • Make it work with Safari, Opera and IE
  • Write some tests (probably using Selenium) to make sure that all the bits that used to work, still do
  • Figure out how to deploy it onto my slice
  • Get some sort of backup arrangement in place

There are dozens of extra features that I’d like to add, however I think I’ve hit the point where getting some feedback on what works and what doesn’t is more important than ploughing on regardless.

In case you’re curious, the site is for reviewing wines. If you are feeling generous and want to contribute, please drink some wine and write up your thoughts on it. Hopefully not too hard a task :-)

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Copyright 2009 Colin Stewart

Email: colin@owlfish.com