Last updated
on 26-12-2011
at 12:00 PM


In a fit of productivity, I’ve once more changed the site, rewriting the entire back-end and improving it hugely, and it’s now all back up and running. Yay! There are still some bits and pieces missing (i.e. any content), but I’m hoping to have it structurally all together by new year, I’ve got a good few posts planned already, and I’ve nearly got a system in place so I can write them in advance of publishing, possibly setting me up to actually keep writing them! Optimism reigns. So what’ve I done, and why?

Once upon a time — I think around 6th form, say 2005 — I wrote this site in barebones PHP, in a framework-less dark age. Coinciding with me having just got into Java, this resulted in some highly dubious design choices, and the result was more than a little messy, inside and out. It was updated very very occasionally, and really just acted as a token “I’ve built something that’s up on the internet” effort to impress the few very easily impressed people I did little freelance projects for at the time.

A couple of years later I started university, and once the initial drinking died down, I needed money again, and the original design just didn’t cut it. I spent an entire Christmas holiday doing a careful graphical redesign, along with a little bit of back-end refactoring and tidy-up, and I ended up with something that looks broadly like what you see now.

Unfortunately, pretty as that was, it was still written in PHP and the conversion from mockups to design itself had been a little hurried, resulting in all sorts of issues; from infuriating but minor misalignment problems here and there, to more serious issues like filtering javascript from comments (the previous version allowed a subset of tags in comments, and tried to filter mouseover-style parameters that could include javascript, but did not do so perfectly, although I forget why…), and then the real major issues with hosting and server set up, as it moved from an old machine in a cupboard at my parents’, to a spare laptop in the corner of my student house, to simply ceasing to exist.

Fortunately, as of today, these issues are all completely finally and permanently solved! Definitely. Whew, eh? Magical.

This new 3rd edition of is a complete rewrite almost throughout (although the css & scripts have been mostly transferred, and the logo has only had its sizing tweaked). It’s written in Ruby, with Sinatra, and I’ve even converted the layout too, from from the html strings concatenation-based templating system I built many years ago (eugh) into nice clean haml, which has turned out to be lovely. It’s now got solid hosting too: this is running on delightful Heroku. In addition, the rewrite has put my in a very good position to clear up some of the leftover bugs, and everything should just be better. Should. Enjoy it while it lasts.