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Principles of Collaborative Web Development

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Russell Nakano introduces the basic principles of collaborative web development: identifying stakeholders, recognizing the "Chaos Zone," distinguishing the development and production phases of operation, identifying source assets, building direct feedback into work processes, exploiting parallel development, and performing both file and site-level versioning.
This article is excerpted from Russell Nakano’s book Web Content Management: A Collaborative Approach, published by Addison Wesley.
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Give us the tools and we will finish the job.



Web development touches people, processes, assets, and tools. Building a content-management infrastructure requires changes on all of these facets of the problem. You might think of these facets as fronts in a campaign. On the people front, many parts of the organization contribute to the daily operations and set the direction for the web initiatives. On the process front, developing a web asset, whether it is Java code, an image, a logo, or business logic, has become complicated because any single asset often sits at the confluence of technical, business, and organizational factors. No single person can do it all, and so many individual processes link complementary skills. On the assets front, a marketing manager writes a press release, but she doesn’t define the artistic intent of the page layout. A Java developer writes code to query the inventory database, but someone else decides the policy that relates current stock levels to products to feature in the online store web property. On the tool front, specialists use desktop tools, web servers, and application servers to stitch together assets into a unified property.

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