I'm sure the new look isn't exactly flying under the rader. After years of creating a web log using tools I developed myself, I decided to move to a more complete web log/content management system.
Why the change?
Well, numerous reasons, really. Before moving to this new system, I was maintaining my own content and tools. In the techology world, this is known as "rolling your own." Of course, this is also known as "reinventing the wheel."
There are advantages to rolling your own solution. You always have complete control of the form and format of your data, for one. The tools always do what you tell them do, for another. However, there are also downsides. Your tools never advance any farther or faster than the amount of time you invest in to them. So, if you aren't investing much time your tools, like I was, you remain stuck with a relatively primitive tool set.
Beyond getting new tools, I had some other goals. I wanted to make it possible for Sarah to write and post ideas and stories of her own on the site. Using my tools, she would first have to learn HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and Unix (all of which combined is a veritable mountain of data to digest) before she could post a single sentence on-line. I also wanted to get a database on the site's backend to simplify data storage and the like. I wanted an easier, more reliable way to generate RSS/RDF feeds. Finally, I wanted to expand the number of places (geographically) on the planet from which I (or Sarah) could post with ease. My old system was almost 100% geared towards posting from my home or office.
So, I decided to look around for a better way to get my content on-line. Research led me to believe that modern "content management" systems had matured to the point where many people were using them.
Hours later, the new site is born. The old information is still lurking in the background, and still in its old form. I decided to bring all my posts from 2004 into the new system and leave everything from before 2004 in the old form. There were several reasons for doing this (the primary one being that there are several links around the Internet that point to various pages/images in the old files), so the old files remain.
There are numerous advantages for you, the reader, in this new system. The first is that each individual story or blurb can be formatted for easy printing. It can also be easily e-mailed to a friend. You can leave comments on the site about what we write. You can even search the text of our writings for particular words and phrases.
Hopefully, you will all enjoy the new site. Let us know what you think of it.