Starting WordPress Blog

Well, I got fed-up with maintaining a blogging product on my company website (see FOSS products) and decided to look around for alternatives. A lot (a great big bunch) of people are using WordPress for their personal blog page. In fact one of the big Google architects, Matt Cutts uses it for his personal blog. So I’m trying it.

And here’s how…

I ported over a couple posting from my “other blog software” (which I have retired) to seed this site and got a rudimentary configuration up pretty quickly. There are a huge number of visual themes/skins out there and I found myself trying dozens, each looking promising. In the end I chose a pretty minimal one. I will change it later I’m sure.

So far I’m impressed. It’s a standard LAMP app so everything came pretty naturally. The only thing I’m not familiar with is PHP, but it seems okay. The big knock on PHP is how it can grow to spaghetti code, which I can see. But on first glance I can quickly understand code fragments. Also, pure PHP has a familiar C-ish syntax so it’s relatively intuitive for me. And I don’t agree with the common knock that it becomes really messy when embedded in HTML. All HTML templating languages that I’m aware of do something similar.

The really nice thing about WordPress is it does one thing and the developers focus all their efforts on that one thing: blogging. WordPress falls very much into the “fetchmail” model described in “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” (and I love, love, love fetchmail).

I’m just getting into hacking on some PHP code so I’ll see how I feel in a couple months. So far I’m happy with WordPress.

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