21 July 2005

Switched to Typo

I’ve switched from using the PostgreSQL port of WordPress to using Typo for managing the weblog part of the site. This also means that I won’t be working on WordPress-pg any more since there isn’t a lot of motivation for me without having my own site on it.

Switching to Typo represents a number of changes:

  • it natively supports more than one database

  • it is written in Ruby rather than PHP

  • it has code that is much better organized

  • it has neat AJAX features and is much easier to add those features to

  • it has unit tests

  • the contributing community seems to better understand best practices

I’ve already made some small contributions (#151, #174, #178) to Typo that have been well received and are working on this site right now. Using Ruby on Rails together with svk makes it much easier to do development for this project and testing on any workstation I’m at. Futzing around with the settings for PHP and Apache was always a big hassle for doing simple development testing.

The direction I wanted WordPress to go was to be fully database-agnostic for the article, comment and other data. This is not achievable given the direction the project is heading. Database interoperability was simply not of any interest to the maintainers and the growing plugin community just increased it’s dependence on a particular database. The project lead’s ethical lapse and the fanboy-style responses by the user community to it reinforced my doubts about my involvement when the work on the code was getting more awkward because of the changes being made.

At the end of the day, working on WordPress was slow, awkward and unrewarding. There was no hope whatsoever that the work would ever be merged. Inferior tools were viewed as vastly superior and the usage and misusage of those tools was beyond question to key members of that community. I care about the quality of the tools I use and so I’ve moved on.

Development on Typo is moving along at quite a clip right now. New features are ridiculously easy to add, even if you care enough to do it The Right Way. I’ll need to get more up to speed with Ruby at some point. But some friends have been pestering me about that for a while now.

I’m not totally sold on Ruby and Rails yet, but they are certainly cleaner to work on than PHP. Some parts of the site may look a little different than they did before and the URLs may be a little different, but nothing is too broken now except the CSS for the Gallery. Let me know if something else is amiss.

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