After 25 years I’ve finally gotten around to updating my web site.

Why did it take so long?

I’m a systems programmer, not a web developer. I understand a lot of the components of web development. I’ve written books and courses on HTML and CSS, Javascript, and all the components of the LAMP stack, including the three P’s (Perl, Python, and PHP). I’ve contributed code to the Linux and Apache projects and I even contributed to the original HTTP standard. I understand all of the pieces involved in creating a web site, it’s just never been my job to actually create them. In all honesty, developing web sites has never held much interest for me. I’m much more interested in the lower-level systems than the applications.

Anyway, about 25 years ago, I created a “web page”. That’s what we used to call it. Even a bunch of pages was still a “web page”. “Do you have a web page?” “I have a web page too!” You can still see it here. It had to fit in 640 pixels of horizontal space because that was the standard screen size back then. I used vi to write the HTML. I registered the domain, which I thought was pretty cool.

Wile E. Coyote, web developer

Over the years I realized that my static pages were looking a bit long in the tooth and it was becoming tedious to keep the pages up to date. I thought about updating the site and I even set out to build a CMS in C. That seemed like fun at the time but it didn’t really work out.

As my quest continued, I tried Drupal. And then Django. And finally WordPress. Sheesh. I hated them all. And don’t get me started on PHP. I’ve been known to compare PHP to the fire of a thousand suns. Or the fleas of a thousand camels.

Eventually it became clear that I was not the person best suited for this task. So, I went to a jobs board and hired an expert. Many months and many dollars later I still didn’t have a working web site. I tried a different expert. Same result. So I hired a project manager. Years of this went by. And more years. And many more dollars. You get the idea. I call this period the dark years.

This went on for longer than I’d care to admit. Eventually I invited my son over to the house and he whipped up this site in record time. I’ve been tweaking it a bit, and gradually moving my content over from my old site. I think it will serve me well. At least for the next 25 years or so.

The dark theme and other details

The dark theme was a last minute idea and I like it. It’s clear, readable, easy on the eyes, and a bit unique. I’ll be interested to hear how others respond to it. If I get ambitious, I may make a light/dark switcher at some point.

The site is built in wordpress using a theme called Hive. It’s been modified a lot, but that’s kinda the point. The purpose is to have a platform where I can write, and my community can participate via comments and other interaction.

I may start a newsletter at some point.

Anyway, thanks for following along this far. I’ll have more as time goes by.

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