A warm welcome to everyone who stumbles upon this site! I’ve finally caught up with the year 2004 and got myself a Proper Blog, and this is the first real entry. (Just to be confusing, I’ll be extensively back-dating entries to cover things I’ve done in the past, so eventually this is going to end up somewhere in the middle of the archive. Never mind.)
The main reason it’s taken so long to get round to this is my pathological mistrust of other people’s software. I really wanted to write my own blog engine, something like Blosxom but in PHP and even more minimalist, but having watched that sink slowly down my personal todo list, I swallowed my pride and (encouraged by Tom, who has generously let me loose on his UML server) installed WordPress. And, I have to begrudgingly admit, it mostly does what I want. Just not as elegantly, that’s all. (Plugins that do their own database queries? Shock horror! They should be doing it through a billion levels of abstraction, so that the database can be swapped out and replaced with an NNTP server, or a P2P network, or…)
I’ve already made a (two line) hack to the code to set up the events listing in the sidebar just how I want – the EventCalendar plugin is pretty good, but it’s based on the assumption that you’re going to write a whole blog entry about that event. Why on earth would I want to do that? It’s someone else’s event, and they’ve invariably already got a perfectly good page that I can link to directly.
In fact, that’s more or less going to be my philosophy for this site as a whole. I’m determined not to let this become one of those blogs that just regurgitates other people’s news stories in different words, or plays trackback table-tennis with speculations about Steve Jobs’s new haircut. I reserve the right to indulge in opinionated rants now and again, but it’s primarily going to serve as an outlet for my own original work. No gimmicks. Just me, in a pub, with a pint of John Smiths.