Wednesday, August 6th, 2008...9:45 am

And Now Back To Our Show!

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Today marks the eleventh anniversary of Silkworms.com.  It’s odd that I noticed.  I was tooling around with this WordPress install yesterday, and a conversation lead me to point out that Silkworms must be over ten years old by now.  So I Whois’ed myself this morning and realized it’s eleven years to the day.  My internal clock seems to be finely tuned to chime on geekly milestones.  Amazing.

To celebrate the birthday, I’m launching a new blog here. I don’t intend to migrate the 100+ blog-like posts that have accumulated on Silkworms over the years. Why? A combination of reasons.


Content. Reading through them, particularly the much older ones, most of them cover ephemeral subjects or seem trite and even childish. At the time, I thought they were clever or important, but years later, with thousands of talented bloggers out there to compare myself to, I’m a little embarrassed of them. I wouldn’t dare destroy such things, so for now they’ll stay in the hidden archives of Silkworms like a dusty scrapbook or a middle school yearbook hidden away in the basement.

Technology. The original Silkworms site was written in a language called HTMLscript — later renamed to MIVA script. Ever heard of it? It is still around, used for some e-commerce solutions, but certainly not as common as it was 12 or 13 years ago. The site was “hand-coded” without the use of any frameworks or open source CMS or blogging applications. Then the site was reborn in Perl for a couple of years. Then I experimented with PHP, hard coded at first, then later with the assistance of PHP-Nuke software. Then, lack of flexibility in that framework lead me back to hand-coded PHP, then to Drupal, then a little bit of experimentation with Ruby, and finally back to hand-coded PHP. So I’ve got about a dozen incarnations of Silkworms.com tucked away on disk, with no easy migration path for the news posts and stories I’ve published over the years. I’m sure I could write a few scripts or hand copy them, but it’s really best just to start fresh.

For Silkworms.com, I went through periods when I would avoid popular frameworks as a matter of pride. I kept telling myself “Dave.  You’re an engineer.  You’ve even specialized in publishing technologies over the years.  If you have to use someone else’s software to publish your own website, what does that really say about you?!?” Well, I finally give in. I’m so busy these days between work and family that I hardly find the time to groom my web sites. Silkworms has gone completely neglected for years at a time because of life. Now, instead of all my sites suffering from the limitations of DIY technology, I’m switching to WordPress so I can focus on the content and keep my friends and family up to date with a lot less muss and fuss.

WordPress? Loving it so far. I’ve seen dozens of home-grown, office-grown, and open-source publishing systems, and this one has me incredibly impressed. I’ll swallow my pride.  It’s perfect for the simple site I’ll have here.

And after all that rambling, what was my point?  Oh yeah!  Happy Birthday Silkworms.com!  It’s been an amazing eleven years!  I’ve learned a lot from you!

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