opinion

It’s About Time...

Stephen Yagielowicz

They say that time is the one commodity that you can’t buy. While having employees may allow you to “buy time,” or at least to better leverage the time you have, time is one thing that there never seems to be enough of.

Like farmers, adult webmasters spend a lot of time worrying about time and timing — balancing a range of factors in an effort to receive optimal returns. For example, time affects a project’s basic requirements; its development cycle; feature set and more.

Time is also a relentless taskmaster, urging operators forward to be first-to-market with the latest and greatest ideas and offerings. While the first company to shoot videos ostensibly documenting the process of picking up stray girls for anonymous sex had voluminous sales, the many followers in this genre received dwindling revenues — even if only because they were seen as “copycats” rather than “leaders.”

For some operators, time is all that made the difference between millions of dollars and thousands — or less…

Time (or more properly, “timing”) is also a complicated issue for interactive website and graphical user interface (GUI) developers — indeed, this blog post was inspired by the following problem: To make a long example shorter, I was working with the way that an intelligent jQuery-powered website was transitioning from its base configuration to one of its content-specific display modes; animating the addition or removal of features such as sidebars in response to the type of content being viewed; i.e., textual contents are seen more as a page in a magazine, while photos are seen more as a canvas on a wall.

Because the default website configuration displays a header, footer and two sidebars, which are activated and animated when the page loads, images were first shown forced into the smaller confines of a text-column, which then expanded to reveal the image.

I hated the way it worked and looked. The image would load then the sidebars would open, and then close — horizontal scrollbars and time-consuming funkiness running rampant.

Timing was the problem and a small coding change was the solution.

Because the site in question uses WordPress, with a custom loop triggering jQuery events based upon the content type (category) being displayed, it was a fairly easy fix to swap out the $(window).load(function()) that triggers events when the page fully loads (resulting in the sidebars opening and then closing), with $(document).ready(function()) — allowing the interception of the “load” commands, by executing different orders as soon as the page’s document model is ready — well before the page is actually “loaded.”

This way, the sidebars are never displayed and the page loads in “photo mode.”

There are of course coding complications that can result from such an approach, but this method is working just find. It’s important to also note that this particular loop offers half-a-dozen content types, with the majority relying on the load function — multimedia files receive the ready cue.

It gets a bit complicated, but it’s all about timing and delivering a polished result.

Timing also comes into play when considering market readiness; for example, do you sacrifice site stability and code validity in an effort to “bleed down” modern features into legacy systems — such as using complicated workarounds to bring CSS3-style effects to non-compliant browsers? Here, time becomes a major consideration, as in “has enough time lapsed since IE9 came out, that the IE7/8 users have all upgraded?”

Time is ruthless and timing everything. By considering the many ways in which the ticking of the clock impacts your business and life, you can make “now” the right time.