[Hidden-tech] Expert witnesses needed

Philip Garrow phil at garrow.com
Wed Mar 21 09:51:30 EDT 2007

Hidden-tech members:


Over the course of years this list has been very useful in helping me find
professionals to help solve a wide variety of problems.  I have found a
skilled upholsterer, a quality editor for my book, and an expert Linux tech
to provide administration for one of my customer’s servers.  Thank you all.


I come to you again, this time looking for two expert witnesses to testify
against a local web site developer regarding the quality of his code.  These
professionals need to have the skills to read back-end code, have the
credentials to testify in court, and would be willing to speak against a
company that is a member of the Hidden-tech.  I am also interested in
referrals to people out of the area that would be qualified to testify.


The details of the case are as follows: Several years ago I approached a
local company to develop an e-commerce web site for me.  I chose this firm
because I done some work for this company as a contractor and I felt that I
had a rapport with the owner that would help produce a quality product for


The development process took over two years.  The digital graphic artist
that was assigned to the project had a huge sense of, “that’s good enough
for you”.  And I insisted that he do over work that was less then complete
and professionally finished.  Before the end of the site development process
this, “professional”, went on to make pizza for a living.


After a year, and many thousands of dollars, the graphical front end for the
site was complete.  The site now went to this web site developer’s back-end
programmer.  Because I had approached this company for web site development
I was given a “discount” to have this site developed.  The owner of the
company was very “generous” in giving me this lower price, and to
compensate, he paid his contractors a lower hourly rate to work on my site.
Predictably, his contractors were less motivated to do timely, quality work
on my project.


Admittedly, the site that I specified was more complex than just an
e-commerce shopping cart.  Built into the back-end of the site I also wanted
an Inventory Control system, and a CRM that provided web-mail integration,
as well as features visible on the front-end of the site like a chat area,
and a database for contributed site content.  The approach chosen was to
modify and add to Zen-Cart to provide the additional functionality needed.


Two years and than $16,000.00 into the project the site was nearly done, and
then it was found that this web site developer could not host my site on his
server on which it was developed due to the adult products being sold.  I
found another hosting company and had the site was moved, which broke the
site severely.  I learned that the reason for the site breaking was due to a
large number of hard-coded links connecting to this company’s source
libraries.  And although these libraries were provided, their precise
relationship to my site had changed, causing every aspect of the site to
fail including the graphical front end.


To make matters as bad as possible, in that month that the site was moved
the lead developer who had written the back-end for my site was hired away
by another company that is a member of Hidden-tech.  The programmer who was
then assigned to the project was very young and incompetent.  After months
of paying for my site to be fixed, and this contractor not doing what I paid
him for, my partner called a stop to the project.  The company who had hired
away the original developer bid $5000.00 to fix my site, but only if I paid
for their $1000.00 a month web hosting, part of their profit model.  They
would not fix my site and have it hosted on the dedicated server I already
rent for $159.00 a month.


In reply to a previous Hidden-tech posting, several developers stepped
forward to repair the broken site.  Their review was unanimous, although the
site could be fixed, it would be putting good money after bad.  There are
places in which PHP has been embedded into the HTML making the site almost
unmaintainable.  The installation of Zen-Cart has been modified directly, so
that when the Open-Source Zen-Cart libraries are updated my site can not use
the new code base.  And there are some “hacks”, that I have been told will
cause the site to fail under user load even if they will work as a
demonstration.  In short, the site is not worth fixing.  Unfortunately, none
of the people who reviewed the code have the combination of the credentials
and a willingness to testify.  (Please contact me again if you are a member
of that original group and I have failed to reach you regarding this work.)


I have written the site developer and asked him to go to mediation with me.
And at the advice of a lawyer I have written and proposed a settlement for
the site.  In reply to both letters I have received emotional and personally
insulting phone calls that have not addressed the issue of my broken site,
still off-line now three years later.  The domain that I purchased for the
site was at that time an on-going e-commerce site, which unfortunately I
could not buy working.  All of that initial momentum that I had paid for is
now lost.


Now as a last resort, I will need to move forward with legal action.  As
described above, as recommended by my attorney, I need two experts to
testify in court at a price that makes a price that makes it cost-effective
to pursue legally.  And again, I am also interested in referrals to people
out of the area who would be qualified to testify.


                                    Thank you in advance for your help.

                                                Regards, Phil Garrow



Computer Tech

Mechanical Designer

(413) 549-4541

phil at garrow.com


No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.16/729 - Release Date: 3/21/2007
7:52 AM
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.hidden-tech.net/pipermail/hidden-discuss/attachments/20070321/42030300/attachment-0006.html 


More information about the Hidden-discuss mailing list