I love my WordPress powered blog. For a blogging site, WordPress is the way to go. However there are site that require me to step beyond the paradigms of a blog.
Back in the day, I used to hardcode all my sites using XHTML & PHP. I’d make them elegant, minimalistic and W3C compliant. I also wasted a good deal of time doing so. So now… when I need to set up a site, I reach for Drupal. Now thats a fun application to work with. By no means is Drupal “simple”. It is a freaking CMS for crying out loud. Simple and CMS don’t go together. And it does have its weaknesses. Getting an image gallery set up in Drupal 6 is non-trivial. But once you know where things are and how the components work, then you are all set.
I’m setting up a new site for the justCheckers project. The only real good reason for my working at all on this project, is simply to build a portfolio. As a software developer, I want to show to others that I can code. And that my code is clean, elegant and professional. I also want to show that I can write my own web applications. So I am writing the justCheckers website as a PHP, MySQL DB enabled application. All using proper XHTML, CSS and a touch of AJAX. The site is a work in progress. I’m not planning to build an entire flexible CMS, rather I plan on building a custom site.
This week, I’ve started working on my delayed projects again. I feel exhausted from the week. But I also can not wait to play around with my projects.
I’ve always admired the KDE and Qt developers. They make some of the most innovative and interesting technology in the consumer-desktop-mobile land. I’ve decided to pick up learning Qt and C++. So far I’ve read the beginning of C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4 (1st ed). I need to play around with C++, which I plan on doing it while using Qt Creator. One of my first major Qt experiments might be getting the TEA text editor working on my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. I know that Nokia just released the tech preview of Qt 4 for S60 devices. But I’ll give it a shot. Hopefully the GUI will port over nicely.
Yes, the project that I left for dead still lives. I want to work on it, as portfolio material. I first plan on building a website in PHP (or maybe JSP?) that renders beautiful CSS and XHTML. And then I need to give the project much love. But I owe it to myself to finish this application. I won’t build any crazy game servers. But I want to make something totally configurable and fun. And in the process I want to create something that proves that I am a strong Java developer.
Writing A Collection of Shards
I am going back to writing. Unfortunately I need to start almost from scratch, since many of my written sections simply will not work. The ideas are there. I just need to get them down on paper.
This one is the ultimate in the tire kicking sense. I plan on getting my driver’s license really soon. Aside from parking, I feel comfortable driving. Once I figure out all this parking stuff, then I’ll be ready. I’m exciting since this will give me a lot more mobility and flexiblity. I’ll be able to solve a lot of problems and have even more time to do things in the day. And I’ll be able to sleep and live in normal time periods.
My analysis is this: the current situation is a messy free-for-all. The standards will almost certainly be abused, and you can look to the usual suspects for that one. The toolkits are all over the place. Finally a known fact is that a project without a rigorous specification is going to go off on a tangent. Tangents like these cause what is called in my part of the woods “development hell”.
A case in point is CSS. The W3C has done in my opinion an amazing job of nailing down the idea of what a stylesheet should do, and how. The details are there, and the theory is beautiful. Now lets look at the vendors or what-my-web-browser-really-does side. The specification is rarely ever held to, and thanks to Microsoft’s Vader-like grasp on the browser market is abused terribly. The folks at Netscape and the Mozilla Foundation do a much better job but its not perfect. Just ask any web designer who wrote an aesthetic layout in CSS how many hoops they had to jump through to get it work on the majority of browsers. If we can not get something as simple as CSS right, then I fear other more complex technologies will simply break.
In the end, I think AJAX will benefit a few large companies. Web developers and designers will still groan and will dream of a better, simpler web. Web 2.0 will not finally get everyone on the same page. Then again, I might be completely wrong.