(… for programming.)
Playing with websites has been a hobby of mine since nearly two decades. What has intrigued me was the combination of different tasks, appealing to different moods – or modes:
- Designing the user interface and organizing content.
- Writing the actual content, and toggling between creative and research mode.
- Developing the backend: database and application logic.
I have distributed different classes of content between my three personal sites, noticed how they drifted apart or become similar again, and have migrated my content over and over when re-doing the underlying software.
(Voice from the future: Of course, now all the URLs point to the ‘same site’ by the end of 2015. Will get ‘more extreme soon – 2019.)
Currently the sites run on outdated ASP scripts accessing CSV files as database tables via SQL. This was not a corporate software project – or too similar to one: I kept tacking on new features as I went, indulging in organically grown code. I hand-craft my XML feeds!
It is time to consolidate all this. I feel entitled, motivated, or perhaps even forced to migrate to a new ‘platform’, finally based on true object-oriented programming. Our other three sites run on the same legacy code, which I don’t want to support forever – I will migrate those sites as well in the long run.
So: I am developing a new .NET site from scratch, and I am going to merge my three personal sites into one.
However, I cannot bring myself to re-doing the code only and trying to migrate the content unchanged and as automated as possible. Every old article brings up memories and challenges me to comment on it and to reply to former self. I have to deal with all the three aspects listed above!
As for the layout, the challenge is to preserve the spirit and colors of all three sites – perhaps using something silly as three different layouts that visitors (especially: myself) can pick from, changing the layout based on category, or based on something random.
I will dedicate most of my ‘online time’ to this project; so I am taking a break from my usual blogging here and there – except from progress reports on this web migration project – and I will not be very active on social media.