have browser, will travel

To follow up yesterday's rant, here's a true story:

When this site was still in the conceptual design stage, I was trying to figure out how I was going to implement this site's back-end. As I mentioned on June 27, most of my work on web sites is related to the back-end architecture.

I thought I wanted to make this site really fancy, with all the advanced featues you'd expect from a "good" site. Yeah, I could set it all up in Frontier, maintain the content via a hacked-up mainResponder CMS interface, and be able to add content anywhere, any time, lickedy-split!

Okay, so that decision was made - this site was going to be a technological marvel ;-)

Then I needed a name! (the name describes the theme) What should it be? Well, this site was going to require quite a bit of engineering, so... how about:

   "Over-engineered for your pleasure!"

Well... what a fitting name that would be, and slightly humerous too!

Then, I thought about it a bit more, and realized how completely ridiculous the entire idea was - making an ONLINE DIARY site compete with a site like Amazon.com, in terms of features!

After much soul-searching, I decided to swing things a full 180 degrees, to the KISS (keep it simple, stupid!) side. If people were going to like my site, it wasn't going to be because the content was available in HTML, XML, and PDF, dynamically generated out of a database based on user-specified preferences; it was going to be because this site had something real to offer - one man's point of view, feelings and attention.

But now I needed a name again! It seemed so obvious:

   "Under-engineered for your pleasure"

Well. I really liked that name, and I still do. But it wasn't going to make sense to anyone but me.

That's when I got onto the track about what people who maintain weblogs should be called... and as I told the story on July 2nd, I came up with the current name, which is pretty much unrelated to the word weblogger.

So as much as I love to hack elegant sites in Frontier (or some other nifty web engine), I'm going to do my darndest to stick to truly organic web tools for this site, as long as I can.

Right now, this site is being edited using Macromedia's Dreamweaver 2.0 HTML editor. I send the content to my server using honest-to-goodness FTP. No web-based content management interface, no XML-RPC'ing of content from the web engine to my web server... nada.

I know I'll be making many sites in the coming year that are highly sophisticated, and use lots of fancy technology - that's my day job, it keeps my family warm and cozy... but as long as there's something interesting to talk about, I'll spend my time writing for this site, not coding for it.

Written on July 6, 1999