So what's the point of all of this?  And by "this," I mean the silly custom blog.  Why not use something reasonable, like Drupal or Wordpress or Joomla or something? (Feel free to stretch "reasonable" to mean whatever CMS you have as your favorite, those are three arbitrary choices.) Especially since I'm already hosting Wordpress for a friend, and have a Drupal install that I'm already ignoring? Well, like I said before, it's mostly "because I'm contrary."  But also I like to reinvent the wheel to learn how wheels work, so to speak.

In this case, I wanted to learn how MVC (Model-View-Controller) design worked.  The easiest way for me to learn something is to do it.  I'm not alone in learning that way -- I find myself in the company of Micheal Goodfellow, whose Sea-Of-Memes project is a constant inspiration, for instance.  So I picked something inconsequential, but complex and useful enough to actually be educational: my blog.

I had a couple specific goals when approaching the blog too.  I wanted a built-in way to use my GPG key to sign my posts.  I like, from the perspective of being a technology guy, that my friend Aesir Delcroath signs his blog posts and I wanted to do the same thing.  Unfortunately, the procedure for signing posts is a real drag: write the post in something else, feed it into your encryption utility, sign the post, and copy that whole block into the blogging engine.  Heaven forbid you have to update or change your post, and if your post isn't just textual data, it's an even bigger pain.  So I wanted my blog to be able to sign my posts on its own. 

I also used to flirt with drawing comics (I am being exceedingly generous with that statement), and I'd still like to have the ability to post that kind of thing, particularly in a sequential form, if I felt like doing so.  Right now, that's pretty awkward -- either your blog engine is designed for sequential content, or it's not, and doing one in a system designed for the other is, at best, awkward.  

Finally, like I mentioned earlier, I have a Drupal install that'd theoretically be used for posting content for my gaming groups.  That install uses a post-style called a "book" -- posts can be related to each other as parents (chapters/subchapters) and siblings (adjoining pages).  I want to preserve that kind of capability, and it ties in nicely with doing sequential artwork.  I've also got a variety of domain names for various personal projects, and I've considered allowing them to cross-post on each other (like letting most content show up here on my blog, but having those individual sites showing just the content that pertains to them).  That gives me some goals to shape my development, and help me continue to learn.


I'm also not alone in rebuilding my blog in my spare time.  My friend Josh Duff is writing client-side CMS (Content Management System) for his.  I'm not entirely convinced that it is the way of the future, but man, is it ever slick.  It's a really cool concept, and I hope that I'll be able to convince him to talk about it once he goes live with it, because it's an interesting approach to dealing with some of the problems of CMSes.  It's also one of the most responsive websites I've ever seen, except for your very first visit, which was one of his goals.  If you like Javascript and client-side experiments, check out the GitHub page for the project.

Unfortunately for this blog, I recently picked up another project, so it's not getting much love in the development department.  For my thirtieth birthday, I gave myself the gift of writing my dream computer game, since it would appear that nobody else seems to want what I want.  In other words, I've become tired of waiting for someone else to invent my dream game, and I might as well take a crack at it myself.  I've been spending a lot of time with that, though I'll save those details for later posts.