Site neglection

So there weren't any updates here since about a half year. Just what's going on? In short, it is not like I lost interest in the site, rather that I simply have no time to tidy it up and keep it running while I am working hard on finishing a certain rather large project. The problem is partly with the CMS I use (Symphony), but it's not particularly like an other CMS (such as Drupal) would do it fundamentally better.

Why the site got to a halt then? Well, the most restraining part for me is the mess I got to have with the gallery and the loads of images I have uploaded. Symphony's admin panel just got extremely cumbersome to manage with these, linking together those (with articles) which have to be linked together proper and such. Of course given the CMS I could have designed the proper forms the first place, but I was lazy back then thinking this will do, and now I just have no time to take such a deep dive in the subject to work this all out.

Then could I call this a failure? By this I mean the selection of CMS? Well, not so much. Before I got a lot of experience with Drupal, running a similar own blog with Drupal 6 and also helping a friend setting up a community site with it, but that had a load of different problems. Symphony's generated HTML is slick and clean, it looks exactly the way you designed it with XSLT. Drupal however spits out the entire structure on it's own with all the mess a typical CMS might litter around in the result, and for it's rigidity it may be a nightmare to do some artistic theming on it. With Drupal 6 I found forms especially terrible, not to mention that some important plugins attempt to completely take over the site doing everything with their javascripts and such. A theme looking like this one I have now would be near impossible with Drupal, at least if designed robust enough to survive some upgrades and plugin installs. Worse, I even found it hard to just tweak the admin panel to be bright-text-over-dark style to stop my eyes bleeding every time I needed to work on it. It is simple to do at first, but again just drop in a few plugins, and Hell breaks loose in the form of a mess of invisible texts due to some defective theming components (such as if the plugin provides white background for a block on it's own, and my theme has bright font which it forgets to override).

Not to mention the worries about upgrades. In Drupal one can either fetch plugins to do stuff fast, or do some theming to obtain satisfactory substitutes for a lot of them. The first option is of course easier, but then you could worry what if either a core upgrade breaks the plugin, or the plugin fails to work out an upgrade on your configuration. With the second option once you finish the problem off with theming, you don't have to worry so much. Symphony is a bit easier this respect since you have to do most of the presentation stuff yourself anyway, so no plugins which could mess up badly, no worries about your database just because you needed a load of stuff solely for presentation.

So it is likely I will keep with Symphony, just will need some good amount of time to clean up the internals, to make the site properly doing the job I want it doing. It is a perfectly fine blogging engine then capable to offer the looks I like.

And what about that particular project I got wound up in? Well, that's a hopefully soon to be open sourced thing, I just don't much want to reveal much on it's nature yet. I started this branch early summer, and by now, it seems to be fairly complete, but still needs a lot to do to finish a working prototype which can then be released. I would except maybe two months from now, could be sooner, could be later: the thing is fairly complex, and problems at my job sometimes really take their toll on me, leaving me unable to concentrate well enough in the evenings to properly work on it with the necessary quality.

By the way a certain company manufacturing shitty bags should really perish. Like they should bag themselves up and throw it off from a bridge. Until about a month before I had no constraints on my personal contact form, but someone thought it very funny to load it with spam referring to this crap. Listen up, scum! Noone managed to persuade me buying anything by advertising. Ever. Period. Understood? Now I would not even take those stupid bags even if you, yes you, paid me hard cash for that. Long story short, now even my contact form filters out messages containing urls just because I want to see useful mail.

Otherwise Happy Holidays (guess won't write much in the meantime, either)!


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