Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Seaside Development Update

(Note to our readers: This is not an April Fools' Day joke).

A few people have recently asked me what "Seaside" (Pacific Northwest Portal Version 4.0) will look like, and exactly what it entails.

If you're familiar with Pacific NW Portal's development history, we like to keep things under wraps and not say too much. There are several reasons for this. One is that we don't like making promises we can't keep. We don't want to promise new features that eventually end up being unfeasible or unworkable.

Another is that we typically don't know exactly what the new version will encompass until we're almost done working on it. Our development process has always been flexible. We can incorporate new ideas at almost any point, to a certain extent. This is very true of Seaside - the vision of what it entails has been a work in progress all along.

I mentioned earlier that Seaside is first and foremost about reliability. While this hasn't changed, this doesn't mean you shouldn't expect new features. Seaside is a major upgrade, similar to True Blue, which was launched over six months ago and transformed the site. And of course True Blue had lots of new features.

But the improvement we all liked most about True Blue was the stability it introduced. We want Pacific Northwest Portal to work and display properly for as many people using as many different platforms as possible. So when we started working on Seaside, the first question we asked was, "How do we make the site work and display more reliably?"

We've had about eight months to evaluate the success of True Blue, and identify areas where we can improve. We already made some public changes - we released two minor updates in August, a semi-major update in October, and another minor update in late November.

How close is Seaside to completion? We don't feel like the finish line is necessarily in sight right now, but we do think the new version will be ready this month. As we get closer we'll post an update and give you a better idea, but we're pretty confident it will be ready before April is over.

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