This log is now in real time

Previous posts were of course all taken from notes.   Not all that work was done on Feb 4th – that was a month’s worth.

next up alpha03 with WordPress.

this log will appear on WordPress.

And very good it is too.  Not too complex – well it’s just fab really.   Don’t have to look any further.

alpha02 – Joomla No No No

alpha02 is simply an installation of the much vaunted thing – Joomla.  And I stopped right there because this is not for us.  For a myriad of reasons.

Firstly this is a top-down approach whereas my approach to web building is bottom-up adding the best of scripts, writing a bit and adding modules as they are needed.  Joomla wants to be the front end of your site and also the framework – you install it without anything else in your space.

Okay it is easy and quick.  And that is good for others to come along and help or take over.

Joomla is a popular manifestation of – buzzphrase – a content management system.  A CMS.  But what is that exactly.  A filing cabinet?   A bunch of shelves with a card index?   Yes.  But we’ve got that with MySql – the databases.  I’m clueless as to how this adds anything at all.

So what have we got with alpha02?   A lot of spaces for news items – that’s a newspaper.  There’s a blog and users can sign in – although why would they want to?

There are loads of plug-ins for Joomla, but you are probably in the hands of joomlese folk when it comes to the still cutting edge technology of media streaming.   And as joomlese people obviously like off-the-shelf solutions they may not be the most radically inventive.  Like the Ruby on Rails folk.

Bottom line is how it works.  On the server – Joomla feels kludgy and sluggish.  It is sizeable and has for us unnecessary features.  So no.

Incidentally Journalness has the identical installation screens so I guess it is a clone of an early build of a Joomla which would have been its predecessor (and now its competitor) Mambo.

Nonetheless an interesting exercise.  Not least because it points to a system which might be useful to us – Drupal.   Drupal is more technically configurable than Joomla – it has much better support for community websites and it is reported to play nicely with other applications.   So Drupal is happy to be one component among many.  It is often used with WordPress as the blogging application.

A Journal system

I wanted a simple journal system in which I and others could post logs and comments.  The log page would show links if we made them.  And the messages would be listed in reverse date/time order.   Not much to ask eh?

I did not propose writing this application myself in php – but just take something off the shelf?   Was there anything?    Well on hotscripts.com and other php sites there are just thousands.  Choosing would be difficult.

More or less randomly I selected about five to try.  Three did not begin work out of the box.  Discarded.   Installed xataljournal.  Nice but just a bit too simple.  No comments facility to posts and no ability to make links to other pages.   Installed journalness – and yes that what we needed.

But it turns out all these things were current about 2 years ago.  Most are no longer in development – and I do not propose developing/debugging these myself.  A shift happened and everyone decided they would not use little journaling applications but choose a big one and go with that.   Better to have the support of an army of developers than one man a dog.

Dreamhost offer two blogging thingies as “one-click installs” (yeah I bet!) – WordPress and Joomla.   So I’ll install Joomla and see what that does.   It is probably massive overkill for what we need here.   But can’t hurt to try.

Going to discontinue alpha01 site soon

(Well now that’s done.)

But it will be left on the server for now.   In case we need to go back to it.
New site will be alpha02 of course.   Then alpha03 and so on.   (That will be the strategy for development)

We needed a much better way of logging development than just posting endless html files.  The information would have been a real mess real soon.

Next steps – getting the software assembled

So now a refresher course in php-mysql on apache.   Everything is easy except maybe multimedia which is still a black art.

Need a working application of php-Flash remoting.  I’ve done it before when this was just starting so
I know it can be done – and there will be more technologies to choose from 2 years later.

Another cuppla weeks to refresh my knowledge – Feb 3rd.   Should have a media player working online by then.

Update: JEROEN WIJERING’s player

This is the Flash player which Dreamhost offers as a one-click install.   It looks perfectly fine to me.

Here it is at http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=JW_FLV_Media_Player

Dead cool eh?

Then the PHP based competition

The competition.   Mainstay of media delivery will be AMFPHP – which has come on well.

Here’s what you can do:
http://www.theservant.co.uk/ Awesome – but too much Flash for our purposes.  Great impact – but not usable is large doses.

http://www.le-lokal.com/ French – media plays great

http://www.slackersconvention.com/

http://www.lancel.com/

These are state of the art.  High style.   Never mind all I need to know is that this technology can deliver media
robustly.

Ruby on Rails sites vs PHP MySQL AMFPHP

Lets compare some sites:
Ruby on Rails  

http://net-mix.org/   supposed to be hip!   Couldn’t be more boring.  The media doesn’t stream – it downloads and u have to open your media player!   Zero personality

http://odeo.com/  Actually not bad – well resourced outfit

http://www.tapestrycomics.com/

http://www.mcqn.com/tedium/account/login

http://thedaneshead.org/  A football site I wouldn’t want to go back to.

These are all typical.  http://www.rubyonrails.org/ is archetypal.  Big clear text, no borders
nothing to grab the eye at all.   Alright for textbooks.

Having said that – it probably isn’t fair.  You can do anything with stylesheets and a touch of flash.
Its just that these people don’t know what else is out there.

Ruby on Rails – read this

a tremendous read:

http://zedshaw.com/rants/rails_is_a_ghetto.html

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