my way

16 December 2003

kris has got me thinking about weblog tools and the people who use them. that’s where i started off and i found myself on a whole philosophising about my life tangent so i brought my comments over here instead.

i totted up the tools that my sidebar blogs are built with and the scores were:

  • movable type with 16
  • homespun coding with 11
  • blogger with 2
  • bigblogtool with 1

i expect i’ve got a really high proportion of handrolled sites in there because i’m a codey/programmy/build your own type person myself and i like reading the thoughts of other codey/programmy/build your own type people.

when i added this weblog to my site three years ago i patched in the output of blogger but it quickly became a mess of imported xml and generated html with far more code processing the data on my server than i was using on blogger’s server. i’ve tried installing other weblog tools, movable type included, but they just don’t do it for me. the initial ease of getting things set up is quickly overcome by feeling like i’m in a strait jacket of someone elses code. i like the idea that there are lots of people messing about with movable type and adding things into the software but i can’t be bothered to dive into the perl and get involved. i’m happy living in my own little handspun universe even if it is a pain sometimes and i don’t end up with the latest flashy gizmos.

last week i was messing about with the web pro browser on my shiny new palm and one of the things i noticed was the nearly all the weblogs that i link to look really good on a 320x320 screen with the majority of the stylesheets ignored. the html they use is either coded centrally by people who understand web standards or they have a good grasp of accessibilty ideas themselves. the difference in accessibility between a weblog and a random commercial website is huge. i think weblog software is really good for getting people without much web knowledge to make good websites.

one other thing that occurs to me is that i’m the kind of person who builds her own things in other domains too. i knit my own jumpers, make my own christmas cards, keep a vast array of spices on hand for making my own curries, etc, i don’t see that building my own database back ends for websites is very different to that. it’s all a case of learning skills and putting them together to make a bigger whole, whether the individual skills are sql, crochet or pastrymaking it all seems to be the same kind of thing to me.

i did warn you that i was going tangentially here! i wouldn’t want to build everything myself pioneer style of course. sometimes i buy jumpers, cards and curries but i enjoy the ones i make all by myself much more. and that’s what my weblog is to me, something that i enjoy building, enjoy spending time with and at the end of the day it’s all my own work which is far more important to me than being part of a crowd or having the latest flashy things around. which i didn’t really have a handle on until i started writing this.