Archive for November 2009

It was a sunny day in Florence…

leave a comment »


LizIt was a sunny day in Florence, I was walking to meet Liz in the piazza, I didn’t expect her for today. I had left her in Stockholm three days before. There she was, at a small table outside, with aperitivo and iPhone under the shade of her straw summer hat.
I couldn’t resist, after a too brief smile exchange, asking: “You left the web site unfinished?” “No, its done.” “What you mean, done?” “Done. Just done” “But… it looks good?” “Looks just like you saw it, nothing’s changed.”

I had left her at work on the site, with her nice layout done, and a long list of request and services to be put up. I remember contact forms, page relative contextual help, content rating, RSS, feedback, retweeting, iPhone compatible version, a long wish list. In short, they wanted a product site with all the features of a social aggregator. Liz designed the layout and then generated the HTML in Dreamweaver in a day; then I “helped” Liz setting up a local test server for the dynamic part, installing a CMS open source software, and the nightmare of trying to fit her layout started. Actually, she did all the technical work, I just contributed in watching, listening, not understanding, and making coffee, which she was forced to admit was good.

Not only the layout didn’t fit, the available services were ugly and half were missing; it was like the CMS had been done in the 90’s, and the sites were forced to look and behave in that way. Such a small, thin and delicate girl was swearing heavily. I tried to get into the background.

Soon I left for my holyday in Italy, while she was considering programming all the features by herself, starting with basic PHP calls. She estimated a couple of month’s work.

Liz: “And then, while I was searching for a jQuery component” (don’t ask me what that is) “I stumbled upon the pata-something site, with a fatty hero logo, where they showed a list of ‘buttons’, actually online services, which more or less covered our requirements. So I got back to the basic static site, and in 10 minutes I was done.” I looked skeptical. She started talking slower, it was always like that when she tried to explain me technical stuff. “It is like pasting a YouTube video, you just select the layout, and then embed the script” “Hmm.. but the video is fixed, what we needed is changing contents” She looked amazed at my making a meaningful observation. “Yeah, exactly, like you know a comment button, that enables collecting the comments, and you administrator can access them in a backoffice and moderate them – actually, I’ve done just that from my iPhone. So you know it’s like pasting the Google analytics script, then you inspect data collected. You see, it’s so easy that even you could do it.”Even me; my hard life. “And it all took 10 minutes? Come ‘on.”
“Enrolled in fatty’s site” – each time she said fatty, I felt she was hinting at me – “2 minutes, picked the code, 5 minutes, I opened Dreamweaver, pasted it and FTPed the changes, 2 minutes, saw it online, 1 minute. Yeah, 10 minutes”And then it happened. We heard a hiss, looked at the sky, and she said “There! Look! It’s him, the fatty hero!”And there he was, flying above too fast to be sure about what we’ve seen.


Go to Patapage website


Written by Pietro Polsinelli

November 26, 2009 at 11:58 am

Posted in short stories