Lifting The Curtain Dept.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017-07-12 23:00:00 No comments

I dropped a hint earlier that I was going to be unveiling a revamped version of the Genji Press site. Some more notes on that, then.

This is the culmination of many months of work behind the scenes. Now that the last few obstacles have been cleared out of the way, it's set to happen by the end of the month or so.

What's going to be different? Outwardly, not very much. I like the basic format of the site, I'm just tweaking it somewhat. The landing pages for each book, for instance, will be heavily revised, and there'll be some more improvements in that vein rolled out over time. Some things won't be totally identical at first, but those will be mostly cosmetic changes. All of the original pages of the site will still be available, although I may in time migrate them to a slightly more elegant URL system.

The biggest changes, though, are going to be under-the-hood. The first incarnations of Genji Press used Movable Type as its publishing system, but I grew disenchanted with it and the latest editions of the product aren't open source anymore. I also didn't want to use WordPress, for a whole bevy of reasons I won't belabor you all with. In the end, I wrote my own system, Mercury — used now to power another site I run, — and it's now running well enough that I think I can phase out Movable Type entirely and swap it in.

I'm weird about my toolset. Some of the tools, like Microsoft Windows or Word, are opaque black-box creations, but I'm so used to them there's little point in upending them merely to replace them with something else. Others, like TiddlyWiki, are open source, and I have been adamant about keeping them that way. If LibreOffice ever got to the point where it not only was a good as Word but palpably better in every respect that mattered, I'd change over, but that day hasn't arrived yet. I suspect it's also about new adoption of tooling: I didn't really have a tool I was using for project organization, but I wanted to make sure whatever tool I picked for the job was open source and reasonably future-proof. The same goes with moving to a new publishing platform, and creating it myself (and open sourcing the results, terrible as they may be), was one way to guarantee that.

Tags: Genji Press Mercury CMS Microsoft Movable Type WordPress content management open source software