Long Live TealArt

So I posted the following snip-it to TealArt.com the other day:

TealArt is a project that I've been running--with some great help--more or less for the last seven years or so. It's been a great ride, even if I didn't have a clue what I was doing most of the time.

But recently I have felt like I'm getting a clue. Wacky, idea I know. TealArt isn't going away though, but it is changing. All of our archives, or most of them have been imported into our current sites here and here. Links to the archives should still work, for a while, but eventually those will break as well.

I'm in the (slow) process of a redesign that will bring out a new TealArt, for the future. It won't be a blog, per se, we have those elsewhere. But there are projects that I think need a home separate from our blogs and TealArt seems like the place for those projects.

These are the projects that I've been talking about in various forums for months: station keeping and science fiction, group knit along projects, and knitting designs, maybe a podcast some day.

The thing is that to do this, we need a redesign. A totally new back end for the site. And I think a clean slate will do us good, so I'm taking everything down while I do the rebuilding, and I'll see you back here in a few weeks with a whole new site and new updates.

I'll see you around in the mean time, and do be in touch. See you soon!

tycho garen 8 December 2007

I've been mentioning the great TealArt redesign of 07/08 for a while now, and I think it's time to get this underway. But because I'm an extrovert and this is my blog I'm going to explain some of my thinking. on the subject. It'll be below the fold, so you won't have to read about it if you don't want to, and I swear for all the knitters, that I'll post about knitting soon.

Ok, so the main things that I want TealArt to do in the near future are: be a space to host station keeping, host knit-a-longs, and display/sell some of my knitting designs. All of my web-projects before tychoish have been about community, and I like that aspect of--at least my thinking about them, even if thats now how the reality works out.

While I can't blame all of the failure/faltering that I've experienced in the last 7+ years [1] to the software we used, it has been a problem. Wordpress is great for powering blogs and I think it's probably one of the best things around in terms of server-side web-apps, and it is very flexable, but I feel the more you stretch it to do things outside of its usual profile, it gets a bit... kludge-y, and awkward. Community stuff and Multi-poster setups are difficult (I actually like the 1-10 system we had back in B2, more), and if you want to mash-up various kinds of outputs it can get tedious. And that's fine. As I've blathered from time to time, having one piece off software that does everything isn't always the best thing in the world, even if it feels like it sometimes.

So knowing that, and knowing that I want to have community features (discussion forums, user profiles, etc.) to support knitting projects and SK and maybe even a podcast. I'm thinking about switching to using a cms called drupal which is a great project and there's tons of power here, and the best thing is that it's designed to do exactly what I want, I think.

The issue is that the learning curve is intense. Intensely intense. And I mostly know how to use and tweak wordpress in my sleep. And while I don't much like having to tweak code, I'd rather instead to spend time knitting and writing, I'm starting to feel like knowing drupal is something that needs to happen. I have another non-tealart site that really needs drupal, and I think knowing something about the system will be quite quite helpful.

So I'm jumping down the rabbit hole, slowly. I hope. Wish me luck. Unless I chicken out, if anyone knows something about drupal I'd love to hear from you.

Onward and Upward!

-- tycho

[1]Lets remember for a moment that I was 13-14 when TealArt started. We're allowed to make mistakes.
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