RambleOn

Like a jazz riff, but with words.

Web Development Is Hard

What he said

I’ve worn way too many computing hats to be good at much at any of it. So I mostly focus on systems architecture (of which about the only thing I’m really any good at is heads-down troubleshooting, code, systems, networks, whatever). I’m certainly not a developer, but I’ve written more perl, c, shell, and php than I ever should have been allowed to.

But you know, when it came to putting up a web site for mine and Amy’s wedding. I kind of freaked a little. I didn’t want to code anything. I could have hand-rolled html, but hand-rolling even 5 or 6 pages, especially 5 or 6 page of valid XHTML and CSS is not really all that fun. And copy-editing HTML pages, even a simple div’d out arrangement is a setup for syntax errors. Not to mention every time you make a little change you have to upload everything again.

I tried out iWeb, Sandvox, and RapidWeaver — and while nice little applications, and light-years beyond the last one of these simple wysiwyg editors I used (Netscape Composer for those playing along with the home game) — they really aren’t very flexible. I couldn’t coax the design she wanted out of them. (just changing background colors is quite the challenge).

So I banged my head against the wall a while, but ended up going with wordpress. And it worked out. I liberated a wordpress theme (Yay for open source licensing!) that was something close to what it needed to be, and I played with the CSS, and I played with the .php files – and I finally managed to get something:

website.jpg

that worked.

We could edit online rather simply, each with our own update account. Wordpress has static pages (and there’s always that blog thing if we wanted it). And it worked. You can’t even really tell it’s Wordpress. Of course it’s complete overkill for 8 pages of text. But it made it easy. I only had to modify and troubleshoot, not create.

It was easy. But only because all this stuff was licensed in a way that I could do derivative works and make it look like I (she ;–) ) wanted.