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31 March 2008

"Sustainable" web development

Hi people,

Seen my website lately? Last week? Last month? Last year? It hasn't changed much has it... Actually since May last year (2007) it did not change a single byte.

Yes, I've been having some trouble keeping my website updated. Surely it's a personal web page and there is no business need to have it updated with new material, etc. But there is a personal motivation in keeping it interesting for others - friends, family, colleagues and other internet users. It's dynamic and should reflect myself somehow.

There are two ways to setup and maintain a website these days: The full blown CMS managed web application and the old-school terminal + vim + html method. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I reckon nobody uses the latter anymore... but me.

I grab my laptop, fire my old vim editor, edit my images and write my own combination of HTML and PHP code to make it a little more dynamic and to make things a little... easier. Bits of a CMS, I guess. This is how I write and maintain my website. However, it is getting a little big for the odd spare hour per week. I keep adding or changing parts of it (in my offline copy) and end up by never finishing any of my ideas of new material or other updates. This is the perfect way to keep my website statically un-updated, gathering dust on my server, upstairs.

Small, simple and regular evolutionary changes are what it takes to keep things evolving. Slowly, yes, but not still. Like the other guys say: "Release early, release often."

But even though I know what needs to be done, I keep implementing better and safer code to get things done better and faster. Like in a CMS. So nothing showed up for the last 10 months, heh!

Let's hope something comes up within the next month or so. Hopefully. All I need is to finish this ultra-'leet image linking system :)

Cheers, PJ.

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