2009-May-08
First post!
I've had this site for 10 years, and it's fun to look back on how it changed.

At first it started out as an HTML page with almost nothing on it. I was learning Java and wanted a place to host an applet I was working on. One or two hand-coded pages, that was about it.

Later, I started using a command-line preprocessor which let me create macros for repetitive HTML. Whenever I wanted to make a global change to the site, like changing the way headers were displayed, I had to reprocess every file. Still it was way better than doing it by hand. Finally I could apply some automated programming techniques to the site! It allowed me to expand the size of the site, adding photo galleries and other stuff.

Eventually I switched to JSP, and converted my macros into pure Java. No more commandline batch processing! This felt really natural, just like programming. Over time, it became too much like programming, too tedious - but still a huge leap from before.

I stuck with that for way too long. The technical hassle of getting stuff up on the site was just large enough to make me not want to do it. I'd post new photos a few times a year, but it felt kinda like a chore.

As time passed, the web grew up. CSS allowed you to control the visual style of a site without having to restructure the HTML. I got rid of the Java functions and it felt like I was editing content again instead of programming. I'd learned a lot about Javascript and rewrote the photo gallery so you could view photos without leaving the page.

Still, it was a pain to upload new content, and I went a whole year without posting anything new.

That's all changing now. I'm rewriting everything from scratch, and am making it much easier to post content.

This blog is a big part of that. Now, I can post new comments without having to hardcode the text into my site and republish it. I can even post from my phone. And it doesn't even matter that nobody reads it - all the fun comes from building it.
Permalink: First post! 2009-May-07 18:33