Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Next Big Update....

I have a terrible confession to make. I know I've been promising a HUGE update, one I've been working on for well over a month now, but.... I have finally had to admit to myself a terrible truth. I likely will not be able to upload it until September at the earliest. I've suspected this for about a week now, but I hoped I was wrong and worked trying to prove myself wrong, but there's no avoiding the truth. All these features and improvements I've been making--you won't see any of them until September at the earliest, and I'm terribly sorry for that. I really hoped to have them done by the end of this month, but it's not going to happen.

One particular update, which was supposed to be a fairly minor change at first, has been considerably more complicated than I originally anticipated. It's the killer, knock-your-socks off feature I mentioned in my last post but wouldn't tell you what it is. (I still don't intend to until it ready, either! *wink*) I'm making progress on it, but it's been a lot longer, slower, and harder than I imagined.

August is just a bad month for me. I committed to doing two weeks of trail work along the Pacific Crest Trail this summer. It's my "big vacation" for the summer. Living out of my backpack in the beautiful Cascades Mountain range. And not just hiking this time, but trail work. Building treads, removing tree falls. Hard, manual labor without an Internet connection in sight.

It's divided into two, one week periods. That way, I'll only be leaving AQ unattended for one week at a time rather than two solid weeks. The first of these working vacations has me leaving on July 28th and returning on August 4th. Then I'll be back for one week before I leave again for a second week.

That pretty much ruins most of August for me, in terms of updating Atlas Quest. Two weeks I'll be gone completely, and it usually takes me several days to catch up with e-mail, message boards, and the usual day-to-day stuff I do to keep the site running so I won't be working on NEW code for the several days after I get back. Just trying to play catch-up.

If somehow, miraculously, I was able to finish the update before I left for the second week of my trail work, I still would not push the update onto the live site. It's a HUGE update, and I KNOW there will be lots of questions and, alas, bugs. I won't dare put up such an extensive upload then split for a week. I need to make sure I'll be available 24/7 for at least a week or two once this update goes live, which means it can't happen until my final return on August 18th. Add a few more days while I play catch up, and the VERY earliest the update will be ready to go live might be August 21st. In all honesty, though, I don't think the update will be ready by then. At this point, I'm estimating at least a couple of more weeks of work to be done and it won't be ready until September.

Which I feel terrible about, because it's SUCH an awesome update!

I'll have some other distractions come September 1st, however, so it might take even longer.... The last day to submit photos for Project X is August 31st, and I'll start putting the calendar together September 1st.

So when will the update go live? I don't know exactly, but I'm shooting for a mid-September date at this point. I knew if I didn't get it done before I left on my first backpacking work party it would seriously delay the update which is why I wanted to finish it near mid-July. Plenty of time to update the site, shake it down for bugs and answer questions, then quietly slip off into the mountains.

So that's what's going on in the AQ world. I missed my deadline, and now the rest of you are going to have to pay for it. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) I'm so sorry! I so wanted to show off these changes before August. *sigh*

As an aside, though, keep those calendar submissions coming. I plan to take a lot of photos myself during my backpacking work parties!


Anonymous said...

Random comment about the calendar - I really liked this years, the only thing I wish it had were little squares with the previous month and future month on it. I am always having to flip pages! Any possibility?

Thanks for everything!
Piper Paws

Ryan said...

I don't have a whole lot of control over the calendar itself. I can add and remove some holidays, but that's about the extent of my control of the calendar. It's pages with the photos where I can pretty much do anything I want. (Actually, the first year I did the calendar, I couldn't even edit the holidays, so I was rather pleased when I figured out how to do it the second year!)

So the little month squares... probably not. I like those too, though. =)

Anonymous said...

Oh don't beat yourself up Ryan about not getting the site updated until September - you sound like Kreacher lol. We can wait until you are back and caught up (maybe:-) I do hope you enjoy your breaks, getting away from it all.


dbltall said...

Ryan, we love AQ just as it is! We are always delighted when you add cool new stuff, but please don't feel that you have to keep to some sort of schedule. Enjoy your time on the trails, and don't worry.