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Re: Designers: Best practices for designers and developers: XMLC

Title: Re: Designers: Best practices for designers and developers: XMLC
> what would be the best environment and directory structure for the
> designers
> and developers to work together?

I thought I would share my thoughts on this since I recently had the chance to work with CVS on a large project involving both engineers and designers. is the largest public message board system on the internet and we were undertaking the large task of porting their app from Cold Fusion to Enhydra. Also, the site was redesigned graphically from the ground up which is where I (as a front end engineer) came in.

The option we went for to keep the engineers and ourselves on the same page was to use CVS.
My design group had an apache server setup that we would use as the staging area for the "storyboard" pages. These pages were purely static html that contained dummy data. We could then use this as an area for the client to review the layouts, while at the same time, the java engineers could worry about making it work on the real development server. Using Mac CVS (a GUI interface and thus well suited for designers) allowed us to keep every file up to date on both the design server, the development server, and the files on our local desktop where we made layout and design changes. I found this system to be the best because it prevented any file overwriting and would show me any changes the engineers had made to any of the html (usually just a few id tags here and there). CVS also automatically makes backups of a file if it detects changes were made since you last performed an update, and of course labels each file with a version number and comments each time it is edited.

Designers may balk at using CVS because they feel it is another tool which they have to master. They see engineers using it with command line interfaces and say "no way, Ill stick with Dreamweaver", but with GUIs like MacCVS and WinCVS, it is easier to get up to speed using it, and well worth the quick learning curve.

Michael Judkins
User Interface Engineer