CMS problems at Scripting News

Good afternoon!

It's been a week since I've posted on Scripting News. It's not because I've been taking a hiatus, rather I've been in head-down mode working on yet another CMS rewrite. I've done so many over the last 19 years, starting with email delivery of DaveNet. The last corner-turn before this was to Trex, a CMS written in JavaScript running on a Linux server. It was a risky proposition, esp since the programmer who wrote it quit in July (unfortunately after it was announced and deployed, and way before it was fully debugged). I was hoping I could keep running for myself and a small community of bloggers, but I think at this point we know that it didn't work out. I wrote a post giving a heads-up to the users in July when this happened. I said there was a chance it wouldn't work. I hope people heard me.

There are so many points of view people will pick this up from. There's the Scripting News readers and Fargo users. Some Fargo users don't use the website features. Basically no one has been using them for the last week, because the server isn't functional.

Some users are working on a way to use Fargo to work on a WordPress site. I think this is good.

We looked at porting the back-end to another runtime environment, even though that might be expensive. That might still work out, but it isn't here in time to make a difference to our current blogging community. But it isn't a matter of money. Programmers aren't fungible. I've asked a few programmer friends to look at the project. No one finds it exciting. I don't either. I was hoping we'd get some incredible performance boosts by writing the CMS in JS on Linux. That did not turn out to be the case.

There's still have more work to do to get Scripting News fully operational. This time I've fallen back to the code I already had working in Frontier. It's a lot easier for me to work there than it is in node.js, for example, the only other runtime that's even remotely practical. When Scripting News is fully functional, it'll work well for me, but I can't imagine that many of the Fargo users will find the new software very user-friendly. I definitely don't want to support it. So I think what's going to have to happen is that we'll back out of the CMS features of Fargo. It's still an excellent browser-based outliner that saves in Dropbox. But we'll have to, as a community, develop new publishing channels that don't depend on me running a server as I have been trying to.

Now that my new CMS is up and running, sort of, I can do write more posts. If you have questions or comments please post them below. I'm sorry for this reversal in functionality. It doesn't happen often. But there really isn't anything I can do to avoid it.

Posted: Mon, 07 Oct 2013 19:43:52 GMT