If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. —Isaac Newton

If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. —Hal Abelson

Back in my Day...

Prior to 2006, I built my websites the hard way. My HTML editor was emacs. My publishing application was rsync. And when I needed a template for any site I would use — I swear I am not making this up — a combination of Makfiles and perl to emulate, effectively, the basic capabilities of the C preprocessor. The whole edit process would consist of:

  1. Edit local "source" files on my main machine.
  2. Run make to rebuild the HTML and CSS from the "source" files and the templates (this, in turn, is where I had a simple perl script that acted like a poor man's cpp).
  3. Run another make command to push out the changed files to the remote website.

Notice what is missing from the above: a database, a server side scripting language, or dynamic content, for that matter.

Here's the odd thing: 10 years ago, my little procedure for web publishing would mark me as a respectable geek. But today? This marks me as an old man.

Well, I've finally gotten hip to what the cool kids are doing these days and it's amazing how much great free resources (as in speech and beer) are available to put together websites today. In no particular order, I use:

  • Free web hosting by 1&1. They had some crazy special a while back that looked like a scam but turned out to be completely legitimate. I signed up, and the quality of the hosting has been pretty great.
  • Wordpress as my bloggin and publishing platform. I use a variety of plugins from numerous sources.
  • The Wordpress theme is of my own creation. I call it "marginal" and I may make it available here someday, but it has some special things hardcoded for my site. The name comes from the fact that it's one of the few styles that allow for margin note-like sectioning. Also, the play on words is intended.
  • The great background tile that I use was derived from a tile at the former "tile a day" at citrusmoon.
  • Finally, while I still use emacs for most of my heavy duty editing, I find that the combination of Cyberduck and TextWrangler is a nice combination.

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