SyneRyder - journal

Never Roll Your Own If You Don't Have To

30th January 2002, 01:23am

It's 1:20am, and I have surrendered. I just kinda hope I didn't lose my soul in the process.

I just finished installing Movable Type on my web server. If you haven't heard of it, it's a web-based program that lets you add journal-like entries to your website whenever the muse inspires you. You might have heard of something similar called Blogger. They're great little programs, because they make updating your website so much easier, encouraging you to update and write more often.

So where's all this surrender & losing my soul stuff come in? Two reasons - first, "blogging" has become the latest craze. Everyone with a website is getting a blog, and quite frankly, it's getting very "look at me, I'm cool too!".

Secondly, I'm a programmer, and a damn fussy one at that. I like things to be clean, elegant, logical, and to work just how I want them to. The current systems available - Blogger, Greymatter, Moveable Type, they don't do everything I want just yet. They're close, but not quite there.

Of course, I could just roll my own (that's programmer lingo for "write my own program"). In fact, I tried that - around mid-December I started programming SyneCMS, the SyneRyder Content Management System. It was to have all the bells and whistles, and the foundations were there... but it was taking too long. After 2 or 3 weeks of work, I had to give it up, because it was clear it would take my entire holidays to complete, and I've got much more important projects to be working on.

It all just kinda hit me today. After programming frantically all day on my latest shareware program, as I have been every day this month (including weekends), feeling like I'm not making progress and searching desperately through old code I'd written for hints... I heard a voice say to me "Keep all the code you write. But never roll your own if you don't have to".

There's some things I have to write - my shareware for instance. But some things I don't have to, and SyneCMS is a "don't have to".

So, as I've been doing more often lately, I listened to that quiet voice. I'm keeping all the code for SyneCMS, I'm sure it will be useful one day. But until then, it's time to get things moving, and get things moving now.

And that's why these pages are now powered by Movable Type.

Footnote: I've decided not to surrender, I'm fighting back. Even when I had Movable Type installed I wasn't updating my site very often. So after MT changed the terms of their commercial license so I'd have to fork over $300, after I heard of security holes in the script, and after I had a near crisis when the MT database corrupted... I decided to go back to my old ways. It's hand-coded CSS and XHTML 1.1 all the way from here on, folks.