I Return to the World
You’ve been on quite a ride over the last year. You’ve weathered hurricanes. Your career path and primary focus has shifted. You’ve switched to a buzzcut. You moved north, and then relocated back south, purchasing a home on your return. You’ve gone off and back on coffee several times (currently: off). You’ve started your tenth year of marriage. You’ve gotten into the best shape of your life. You’ve learned first-hand what GERD means. You’ve abandoned a huge codebase and switched your primary development platform and language.
You’ve made many new, great friends. You’ve learned how to give regular subcutaneous injections to a cat with CRF (and a sadly uncertain future). Your primary workstation has changed at least twice (still and always Mac). You’ve experienced the worst physical pain of your life. You’ve walked with friends through the vineyards of California’s Central Coast, rediscovering (and even helping to make) wine. You just redesigned Hivelogic and wrote a new back-end to publish it. You’ve launched a handful of projects, some of them great, most of them invisible to people who might read this website.
Quite a ride.
So then, here you are back at the keyboard, Hivelogic redesigned and ready for new content.
The Daily Grind
As of late, you have been doing quite a bit of Ruby on Rails work. In fact, that’s almost all you’re doing. You feel lucky to work with so many great people in the Rails community. It’s amazing how this new framework, built on a solid language, has gelled into a real community and attracted some very smart, creative people.
The Redesign (or “Scrolling is the new Black”)
The previous Hivelogic design was, at best, mediocre. The design previous to that, created by JSM was pure genius, but it didn’t feel like “home” to you, probably because you didn’t built it yourself. That’s just how you are.
So this new design is your attempt to recreate a site that hints at previous designs, keeping alive the “Hivelogic feeling” while bringing in a light, simple, and hopefully modern direction.
Gone is the sidebar, in favor of a single-column design with article summaries at the top of the page, and links at the bottom. So, scroll down. There’s stuff there, and there’s more on the way.
The Ruby on Rails Underbelly
Behind the scenes, this site is now powered by a simple publishing tool written in Ruby on Rails. It understands things like posts, authors, tags, and pages, just like you’d expect it to. Future posts here will detail the creation of this system as a learning aid for people new to Rails and CMS building.
You wrote the CMS, comment system, and upcoming workflow management component that powers the newly redesigned A List Apart website. Your friend Damon handled the migration of old content into the new system.
Lots of people have been asking about this CMS (is it Ruby on Rails, how long did it take to build, will it be available for sale or download?). These questions and more will be answered in an article for ALA, coming soon.
You were also part of the development team who built the partner-application which manages, organizes, and helps deliver the content sold by the cool eBook Store that Duncan and Mike built. It was a rather complicated Ruby on Rails application that was quite a challenge to construct.
What lies ahead? While you’re still rather busy on a daily basis with your work, your plan is to post frequently. You’ve fallen out of your writing routine, and you miss it. This needs to change.
Hopefully your readers will be patient with you as you get back into the swing of things.
So then, there it is.
Update: By popular request, a page listing this site’s RSS Feeds is now available.