Yeah, I’ve been neglecting the site lately. That’s why I want to build it up to be a community site; so everyone else can keep it running in my absence. But I’ve still got to build those features in before that can happen, and that’s what’s going to take time.
I’ve been trying to figure out what system to use for the main CMS/blog engine behind the site. Right now I’m using Movable Type, just because it’s what I know and I could whip up a quick and dirty installation with no problem. But that’s no good because I want features that MT doesn’t have, mostly in the way of user management and single sign-on. Plus I’d have to pay for a multi-user installation, and I’m trying to keep this site profitable with only $20 per month in ad revenue. I was looking seriously at WordPress for a while, but it also is geared a little too much towards a stand-alone blog, and wouldn’t mesh well with the rest of the site. Drupal? Geeklog? Mambo? All good systems, and all with their disadvantages. Each one of those would take boatloads of tweaking and customizing to get working just how I want. But mostly, each system I looked at wanted to own and control the whole site, and I only want the blogging engine to be a small part of the larger whole. Yet I want to have comments on every page, even the static ones I hand code myself. I guess I’m just a picky nutcase.
So I’m taking the fool’s route, and coding my own system. Yes, it’s reinventing the wheel, in a big way, but it’s the only way to get a system that works the way I want, and that integrates with the site the way I want. I don’t want to have to build an entire blogging system from the ground up, but they’ve forced my hand. The problem with WordPress and all the others is that they’re too complete and have too many functions. They have their own admin pages and complete database schemas and complex template engines that are built on a impenetrable mess of PHP functions and classes. Have you ever looked at the WordPress source code? It’s not meant to be tampered with. I was looking for just a barebones blogging engine that I could plug into my own pages, but each of the popular systems is already a complete package. They’re made to install and run right out of the box. All I want is pieces, not a polished product. It’s like buying an entire toilet when all I need is the float and the flapper.
So where’s the blogging equivalent of a flapper ball?