Author Archives: Admin

Can a Contract Cope with Changing Requirements?

It’s been decades since software people started to think about how to cope with requirements changing during the course of an engagement, though other areas of endeavour have surely been doing it since the stone age. Literally.

The state of the art for software, and increasingly for other areas of IT, is Agile. Yet the recognition of agile in contractual relationships has lagged behind, which is odd given that a large part of IT is done by contracting someone.

When all is sunshine and daises this doesn’t matter. The time you really really want your written agreements to be right is when things go awry. If you’re doing business even with friends & family, it can help to have something in writing.

But how to write a contract for something when you know it’s going to change?

This problem came up in a linked-in architects’ discussion and I immediately reached for google to find my notes from Susan Atkinson’s presentation on Agile Contracts (I saw her present at a Rational User Group conference a couple of years ago). I reduced it to bullet points in /p1201/susan-atkinson-features-of-an-agile-contract, and she was good enough to drop by to correct & update it. She’s been developing an Evolve Contract Model with Gabrielle Benefield and the website should be up soon. Meanwhile there is a recent presentation on slide-share at Contract Metrics For Agile.

For those not yet convinced that there’s anything wrong with a waterfall-style contract and project, you can read the IEEE 2013 conference paper at http://www.slideshare.net/SusanAtkinson2/ieee-2013-the-flaws-in-the-traditional-contract-for-software-development. nb Open it full-page mode for easy reading.

WordPress blocks Affiliate Links? (Close but no cigar)

iframes, WordPress, affiliate networks

One of the difficulties with wordpress is the security restrictions which blocks iframes. Thus, including this iframe:

<iframe src="http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=cafeencounnet-21&o=2&p=20&l=ez&f=ifr&f=ifr"></iframe>

may result in a blank space thus:
Empty Space!
instead of :

You could have run afoul of one of these gotchas:

  • If you’re wordpressing on a hosted service, security restrictions may simply stop you doing it. Not much you can do about that except move.
  • You may have AdBlock or some other ad blocker switched on in your browser – and hence block your own links! Right click on the page and see if you have ‘Block an ad on this page’ and “Don’t run on this domain” in your menu. Choose “Don’t run on this domain” to exclude your own site from adblocker. Similarly with other adblock technology.

Why would you want to have iframes on your site? If you’re an Amazon affiliate, or part of some other affiliate network (google affiliate network, doubleclick and a host of others) then your link to the network is usually via an iframe or a javascript tag.