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The mission was to write a basic message board on the company web store where customers can login, leave public messages and answer other people's public messages. Kind of similar to PerlMonks although of course much simpler.

I have apache, mod_perl and mysql installed, tested and played with on my company server. All the basic building blocks of a great web application.

After studying all the right O'Reilly books and learning which modules I need to use and how to use them - it occurs to me that I have no idea where to start on the actual project itself, even though I can see the final picture I want to create and how it fits together. It just feels too big to offer a starting point, if that makes sense?

I could just start hacking away piece at a time, but it feels like I should be doing some kind of design first. I don't want to fall into the trap of creating a hard-to-maintain disaster that so many others have. I want to be able to add features later easily. I want it to be reliable and the code to be "clean".

What are the first steps to planning the implementation of a largish project like this? How do you plan the code? Backend or frontend first? How do you decide what to factor out and what not to? How do you write code in such a way that it is extensible? etc, etc.

I guess what I'm asking is, what are the steps between seeing the design of version 1.0 of a web application like this in your mind and starting to writing the first line of perl itself. Or are there no steps in between for you guys, and you can just start coding at this point?

In reply to Writing a web message board from scratch by tomazos

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