Jens Oliver Meiert

How Can We Make Website Maintenance Work More Visible?

Post from April 24, 2019, filed under .

The maintenance and maintainability of websites is a much neglected topic. That’s an observation and a statement that have so far culminated in two maintainability guides, guides that are surely not all we can really document about the subject. It’s a problematic observation, too, because: We cannot not maintain.

Why is maintenance, why is maintainability so neglected?

Given said “law,” that one cannot not maintain, maintenance will not actually be neglected—our efforts and learnings here may just not be visible, and therefore not get documented well.

To turn things around, therefore, the question may be: How can we make website maintenance work more visible, and with our observations improve maintainability?

And some possible answers pop into our minds: Document the tasks we perform, document major issues and decisions, document the time we invest in maintenance.

Especially in high performance environments, this is neither convenient nor easy to do, and therefore not tempting to even start doing. Which may explain a good part of the visibility problem.

Yet—increasing visibility is what may need to be done if we ever want to draw impactful lessons from our combined maintenance efforts. Therefore, for everyone:

To leave no stone unturned, what can we do to make website maintenance work more visible?

Perhaps we can try to tie everything together through something like #webmaintenance.

The story of Prince Valiant’s part in the capture of Sir Negarth and the slaying of the sea monster so interested the warrior king that he bade Sir Gawain bring the lad to his chambers on the morrow.

Figure: Physical maintenance. (Copyright King Features Syndicate, Inc., distr. Bulls.)

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, on April 19, 2019.

Jens Oliver Meiert is a technical lead and author (sum.cumo, W3C, O’Reilly). He loves trying things, including in the realms of philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

If you have any thoughts or questions (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

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Cover: CSS Optimization Basics.

Perhaps my most relevant book: CSS Optimization Basics (2018). Writing CSS is a craft. As craftspeople we strive to write high quality CSS. In CSS Optimization Basics I lay out the, at least some of the most important aspects of such CSS.

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Last update: April 24, 2019

“Work is love made visible.”