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Tuesday November 28 2006

Well, what with the creator

of Blog saying that the arrival of Windows Live Writer (beta) may obviate further development, things are in a bit of a spin here. Once again I feel the need to write a lengthy - and quite possibly tedious - tract on the subject of my blogging setup. I do this about once a year, and this year is not going to be an exception. After all, if you can't blog about blogging...

Here's the story, in concise form:

I use this little app called Blog, appropriately enough. It's free and it has done me well for about four years now, maybe longer - I forget. It is a bit buggy and it is a bit slow, but I have kept the faith because it permits me to easily make dated entries and archive them in the absence of any scripting available on my web space, which I get free with my broadband. Were I to to use one of the free content management systems I would need to get hosting organized, which is an extra expense. To say nothing of the agonies of learning to set up such a system, which I really tend to feel I don't have time for. I like the social aspects of the web, and I like to research stuff, but I cannot abide coding or anything closely related to it. That's just the way it is. I studied computing, and I learnt that it was not for me the hard way. But because I like the social aspect of the web, I'd like stuff like commenting on my site/blog. There's no way of doing this other than by going the grown-up, time-consuming and expensive route of my own hosting, domain and so on. Well, there is - using something like Blogger. But the problem there is that at present I have my whole site here at home and it is published dynamically to my web space, rudimentary though that is, and so I retain the whole thing and can just squirt it at any web space I might have. I have a Blogger blog and it is fine, but largely out of my control. Did I mention that I am a control freak? Therefore I have been soldiering on with no commenting or other bells and whistles in order to retain simplicity and control.

Now I feel that this will have to change. I envy the facilities accorded to those who simply use a commercial blogging service, not to mention the simplicity of just doing everything in my browser (where I largely live). My misgivings have been centred around a couple of issues, being that services come and go and that the internet is a fickle thing. But I think that at this point, where the maker of my software is treating it as a device to edit posts before uploading them to a content management system (commercial or otherwise), the writing is on the wall. The future is server-side, and I have to trust the internet to stay put :) There is very little I can do with the current arrangement other than simply churn this stuff out and rely on occasional feedback via email to know that it is read. So I think that I am going to move over to Blogger, where I've played with the Inchoate Satellite blog I set up as link dump some time ago for my blogging. This will have the benefit of making things rather more attractive than I have managed with my crappy home-brewed template, and there will be commenting and who knows what else?

Off, then, to Blogger for my blogging from now on. Nothing that is here will change, other than that this will probably not remain the front page of this site on Pipex. All the content generated over the last four years or so will remain present and accessible. I shall likely think of something attractive, rare and strange to front this 'ere, but with my HTML skills I wouldn't recommend anyone to hold their breath.

With a slight and undefinable tristesse, I box up my stuff and leave for fresh fields and pastures new. Please come along and help to make Still Inchoate a successful venture, and I'll resolve to do what I can to amuse and stimulate discussion. See you on the flip side.

Posted at 7:25 am by Jim Woods

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