Just in case you did not get the Monty Python reference here is a cartoon courtesy of Blaugh which gets right to the point. I have been away from writing anything for my web site for a very, very, long time. Where have I been? Where do I begin? I have been quite busy developing software for a number of clients that I cannot name because of none disclosure clauses in my contracts. I never did understand how disclosing who the actual client is in a public forum would be such a big deal but I can only describe what I have been doing over the last four years as having worked in the hospitality, mortgage, back to hospitality and now property cost industry. While that has been keeping me busy with all the work that these projects generate, Mary and I have continued to develop and support our AGP Maker program.
What has brought my sudden attention back to this site and providing more articles and input on what I have been working on? I guess because of the change in where and how I am hosting the site and a change in the content program to update the site. This has been the third time that I have changed the content management system for this site. I started out using City Desk because of an article that I came across. I don’t remember which magazine but the article was about content management systems. The article quoted a couple of paragraphs from Joel Spolsky and he was talking about City Desk. That article took me to Joel’s web site Joel on Software which was the original inspiration for starting my site. I liked Joel’s style and how he looked at things. This was the very first blog that I followed faithfully. Even today, when Joel writes something, I just want to find the time to sit down and read it. I guess part of it is that Joel does not write every day or even every week. When he has something he wants to say and share he does and that has always been my goal. Speak when I have something to say, not just to generate content.
Next I switched the content management system over to Microsoft Content Management System (MCMS). This was a great learning experience and I was able to leverage my dot net skills. It provided me with the ability to edit the pages from where ever I was at home or on the road, which was a problem that I had with City Desk as I had to make changes within the City Desk program and then push out all the files to their final location. The future of MCMS is uncertain as Microsoft is moving that technology into the latest release of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). That was not the reason I am leaving this platform though, as this is a really great product, it was just impossible to host these sites anywhere but on my public exposing web server. I really want to move all the public web sites to be hosted outside our office so that they can be expanded and extended and provide a much more stable environment. Our office is not setup for hosting and right now our hosting needs are not all that great, but things may very well change over time.
This brings us to the third content mangement system that I am switching to. I am moving all our content over to DotNetNuke. Once again that leverages my skills as a dot net developer added with the extra benefit that GoDaddy supports this in their free hosting program natively. This continues to give me the flexibility to update the pages were ever I am, give me a better opportunity to get my pages indexed by the search engines and allow readers to link to direct pages and articles. When I had this site hosted in my office you could not link directly to an article unless you knew the name of the page which was all hidden from view. This may even lead to some articles that I might do about working with DotNetNuke.
Over the next couple of weeks and months I want to take on some technical issues like authentication and how I have taken advantage of windows authentication but used it in the way that forms authentication provides some greater flexibility. The way that in house internal programs are built and consumed in other companies that I have worked, just bugs me to death. There is no reason why I need to log onto every single tool that I use if I have logged onto the computer that I am using. There is no need for this and I have developed some techniques that I will share on how I use this to work the way it should.
I would also like to cover some topics that I have never covered before. These would just be optional pieces so take them with a grain of salt, but I do want to cover some political and economic issues that have been bugging me. If nothing else they will make you think cause I am sure my views are going to be a little different then what you might have been expecting. I do at times have a unique view on the way I see things working and how I think that they should be working. Keep in mind these are options not necessarily based on a lot of facts.
I would like to talk about my conversion and on going conversion of all my web sites going the way of DotNetNuke. This is a great content management tool that gives me a lot of flexibility as the skins are easy to create, now if only I was better at graphics I could really do something with this tool, but over all the experience is quite pleasant. Modules that are not provided by what is in the DotNetNuke installation package I can create quite easily, I am after all a software developer. Plus the fact that GoDaddy which has been my domain name registrar for years is now providing some free hosting (for the price of a domain registration) and they fully support DotNetNuke as a hosting package.