WordPress, Finally!

It’s been a really long time since I last blogged, and it’s all because I got totally fed up with my old blog software and vowed never again to blog until I replaced it with WordPress. Well as you can guess getting around to replacing it took far longer than I planned, but now it is finally here! I’ve still have other non-blog related things that were housed at my domain I still need to fix such as this but now that the domain is switched over to WordPress I’ll have a bit more urgency to get those fixed. I look forward to rejoining to ranks of the blogging community. 

What’s more, a lot has happened since I last blogged so I have lots of things to blog about in the coming weeks and months. Of course I have plenty of billable work that needs to get done so for all those of you who are waiting with baited breath for me to blog (LOL!), future blog posts won’t be coming as fast and furious as I’d like but at least with the new blog they can start to trickle out.

Long Time, No Blog

Yes I know, it’s a blogger’s cardinal sin to post about why he hasn’t posted in a while. But live with it.

The irony is I’ve had so much to blog about. The reason I haven’t is because a while back I finally gave up on dasBlog and decided I’d switch to WordPress before I blogged again. dasBlog makes so many things difficult that are either easy or trival on WordPress, such as commenting and monitoring spam. After years of putting up with dasBlog I just finally got fed up and decided I’d wait to switch to Wordpress. Sadly I’ve waited a long time, and it’s possible it may still be a while before I can move everything over.

Of course I could have tried upgrading dasBlog, but it’s so much harder to enhance dasBlog with it’s limited templating system that requires compiled .NET plugins vs. WordPress’ PHP scripting (reminiscient of classic ASP+VBScript, only better) that I was finally able to shed my programmer’s guilt for not learning how to write usable .NET plugins just as I was able to shed my guilt for never becoming proficient in x86 assembler back in the late 80’s.

I’ve got a huge backlog of posts that are anywhere from 10% to 99% complete, many of which will never see the light of day because they just won’t be appropriately timely enough by the time I’m ready to finish and post them. Ah well, story of my life; I can envision far more than I ever have time to complete.

Anyway, the reason for this post is to introduce the next post about a module I’m writing for Drupal. I’ve spend a lot of time recently with Drupal and am getting quite good at it, even if I do say so myself. I would have liked to have posted several Drupal related posts as a recursor but if I waited for that I doubt I’d ever manage to post about the module!

So without further adieu, on to the next post!

P.S. It may actually be a few days before I get that post finalized, but if it is not posted yes I am working diligently on it so just hold your breath… :-)

Learning about Adobe AIR in Atlanta…

I’m at the Fox Theatre in my hometown of Atlanta today checking out the Adobe AIR Bus Tour Summer 07. It’s nice to be at the first event nationwide. I’m attending at the behest of a friend who thinks it going to be the "next big thing." I’m skeptical. I fear yet another proprietary attempt to empower developers to craft unique custom web interfaces to provide desktop functionality as a layer over web technologies, and that’s not a compliment. These types of things, especially when looking at the black box nature of opaque Flash SWF files, do their best to ignore those things that make the web work, i.e. stateless URL-addressed resources. The reality of Adobe AIR remains to be seen… P.S. It would have been nice if Adobe had consulted me to ensure that this event was more convenient for me. I mean, I actually had to leave my home and cross the street to attend. Adobe, Please! ‘-)

IIS 7.0: Too Little, Too Late?

March 2007 Cover of MSDN Magazine Back in January 2006, I blogged about how much I wanted an IIS 7.0 that handles extensionless URL rewriting. Well this week I just got my March 2007 copy of Microsoft’s MSDN Magazine in which they ran a detailed technical preview of the features and functionality of Internet Information Server 7.0. Reading through it, I found myself salivating over it’s capabilities that I’ve needed for literally a decade. Those who follow some of my other escapades know that the #1 feature I want it to provide over IIS 6.0 and prior is the ability to fully control the URL with our without an extension. Yet, something is different now. Five years ago I would metaphorically have killed for that functionality. Even a few years ago, I wanted it badly. But reading about all the great things in IIS 7.0 today for future availability on server hosting platforms next God-knows-when (i.e. after Longhorn ships *and* most Windows-offering web hosts upgrade) sadly comes across to me as just too little, too late.

Too Little

Too little because Microsoft won’t deliver IIS 7.0 to run on Windows 2003 Server necessitating a costly and in some cases problematic operating system upgrade. This will drastically limit the number of situations in which people can choose to switch to develop for the new features of IIS 7.0. For example, when the funds for operating system upgrades are not in the budget or simply because the developer doesn’t have the corporate clout to convince management of the need to upgrade.  And the only people who will even be able to experiment with IIS 7.0 will be those with Windows Vista. And since upgrading to Vista also requires funds and often new hardware, it is not a foregone conclusion. Consequently there will only be a small percentage of Microsoft-centric developers writing web apps that uses the functionality of IIS 7.0 over the next several years. Given the limitations of IIS 6.0, I just find this scenario to be unacceptable.

Too Late

Too late because Microsoft’s outdated process and slow release cycle, which I blogged about last month, has given rise to compelling alternatives on the Linux platform.  And Apache has has many of the key features that IIS 7.0 provides, most importantly via it’s mod_rewrite functionality, that by the time IIS 7.0 is ready for prime time, there’s a good chance only a tiny percentage of web developers will care. I for one need to develop web apps I can run on web hosts today, not wait around and dream for some yet-to-be-determined future brighter day. Microsoft, the rules have changed and you are not immune. You can no longer schedule product updates years out and expect people to wait to pay you for them years from now when free-to-use open-source alternatives addressing the same need exist today. I can no longer bring myself to design or run a web app on IIS 6.0[1] when the URL management functionality I crave is already available on Apache. And by the time IIS 7.0 is released I doubt I’ll even consider running an IIS server.

Unless…

However Microsoft, there is a solution if you will only listen, which I highly doubt. Microsoft You should know more than any other tech company that your key to success is getting developers to write programs for your platforms. Yet on the web developers are voting with their feet and most new web applications not sponsored by a "You don’t get fired for buying Microsoft" large company IT organization are choosing to build on Linux and Apache.  IIS was once the leading server on the web, but today it can barely eek out more than 1/3rd market share. If you don’t stem this time, things will only get worse. Much worse. Here’s what to do: Release IIS 7.0 as an update for Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP that gets installed automatically via Windows update. Offer it in parallel to IIS 6.0 so it must first be configured by an admin and IIS 6.0 disabled, if necessary. Feel free to restrict it in whatever ways you must given 2003/XP’s lack of Longhorn/Vista infrastructure, but don’t use that as an excuse to eliminate key features such as URL management and HTTP response filtering. Doing this won’t change the minds of those who have already given up on Windows, but it will certainly minimize the profuse bleeding.

Footnotes

  1. Given how much I dislike ASP.NET and how frustrated I am with IIS 6.0, I can’t wait till I find the time to move my blog to another program besides dasBlog.

dasBlog 1.9: Not ready for prime time yet…

I blogged about dasBlog 1.9 on Friday and was planning to upgrade, but I’ve been monitoring the developer list and it seems there are still a few too many little problems to make upgrading a smart proposition, at least for me. Better to wait a bit for the dust to settle.
 

 

Tags: ,

Congratulations, you’ve installed DasBlog!

Be sure to visit all the options under "Configuration" in the Admin Menu Bar above. There are 16 themes to choose from, and you can also create your own.

 

Tags: ,