January 10th, 2015

planet

websites, html, and the DIY line

Many many years ago people would ask me, "Hey spacefem I have things to say on the internet! What do you use to build your websites... frontpage? dreamweaver?"

And I would Ron Swanson that shit and tell them to use motherfuckin' NOTEPAD, learn what a <br> tag bi-atch.

my websites needed forms, I learned javascript, needed a forum, I downloaded phpbb and threw it in a side directory and hacked the shit out of it.

then I learned that phpbb issues security updates practically every weekend and they never leave the css alone, so I stopped hacking the shit out of it because that makes it really hard to updated.

then I slowly found other things where it was just easier to use other people's code... blogs, wikis, photo galleries. I'd keep my own little "side code" and queries off in other files so I wouldn't have to worry about them for updates. never hack.

I also tried writing my own CMS for a non-profit once and it was so miserable I vowed to never write anything like that from scratch again... too many people have done things like "session management" so many times that I was reinventing wheels for no reason, except that I could cater to the whims of every customer request.

THEN I realized that all these 3rd party open source writers totally beat me to responsive, mobile-friendly CSS, and there were plugins that were way smoother than what I'd written for customization, and maybe I should leave it alone anyway.

and now when an organization asks me if I'll be their website person, I just install wordpress. 100% 3rd party.

I used to compare photo galleries to changing the oil in my car. could do it myself, but someone else has streamlined it, let's just outsource and move on with our lives. now I'm starting to feel like that about all web development.

all these people who complain that kids don't tinker with their own cars like they did in the 1950s? I'm gonna be like that with websites. okay not gonna be... I'm there. "when I was your age I knew HTML!" yeah, and it got to be a pain in the ass. so nobody does anymore. everything got big and complicated.

next new thing.