Vegard Skjefstad

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Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air and for many people that means it’s time to give the apartment or the house a good cleaning. I’ll probably do that one day before next Christmas as well, but I decided to start with cleaning the backend of this site. There has not been many updates lately, and I would like to be able to say that I’ve been working on the site’s backend, but I can’t. Because I haven’t. What have I been doing? I don’t know for sure.

I’ve been thinking about implementing a Twitter-like social awareness feature. Of course I could just use Twitter, but I don’t wanna. At least I’d use their APIs instead of the HTML widget they provide. I also want to merge the Moblog and the rest of the entries, since moblog entries are basically just like all the other entries, they’re just smaller and with a picture attached to them.

The main challenge with all this is the current database structure and the PHP code the builds the site you see. Everything’s a real mess because the codebase and the database have just been extended and patched as I’ve had the need to implement more features. Just the merging of the Moblog entries with the rest of the entries is going to be a huge pain in the ass to accomplish as it is today.

So I guess it’s time for me to look at other ways to do this. A new backend is needed, but it’s very unlikely that I will ever find the time or motivation to build everything from scratch one more time, so instead I’ll use an implementation that already exist. The number one choice of the blogsphere these days is WordPress. With its recent 2.5 release, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be my choice either. I’ve considered the WordPress move before, but my conclusion back then was that it would be too much work. As you probably understand, I’ve now realised I’m digging a hole that I will be able to climb out of if I continue using my own custom built system.

A quick search on Google reveals that there are a lot of open source content management and blogging platforms available, but the sheer user mass of WordPress means that some clever coder probably already has made the features I need that are not part of the standard installation. And if that’s not the case, there is a fair change I can manage to build it myself, since everything is PHP.

Wish me luck. And buy my stuff!

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