It’s been about a month since my last post here, no real reason why, it’s just that everytime I’ve told myself ‘you must write something for the site’ I haven’t been able to muster the energy. I generally need something interesting, inspiring or, more usually, rant-inducing to get me going and it seemed pointless posting for posting’s sake.
Time just seems to disappear at the moment, between working longer (which reminds me, I had my boss taking the piss out of me last week for constantly posting that I aim to leave my job and I keep failing), socialising, playing football and, more recently, shopping for some new furniture and clearing shelves and cupboards in preparation for some redecorating, time seems to fly, not to mention writing for my other sites, watching films and trying to get some reading done.
I have managed to squeeze a couple of other things in, I’ve been researching a redesign to this site (trying to get a feel for a better user interface), I also launched another new site: Go Set Jetting. Set Jetting is where people visit locations specifically to see locations used in a film or TV show. I’ve had the domain for a while, and the site doesn’t have much content yet, but I’m hoping to build it up.
Then I gave Potter’s Place a bit of modernisation. I realise it doesn’t look like it, but the site was previously running off of an old WordPress 1.2 capable template with a few tweaks to work on 1.5, all through a single index.php file. I’ve split it out into separate template files and hacked a few of the plugins I use to work on WordPress 2 so it’s ready to move to a new look template when I want to.
Then, for some reason, I decided it was time to update my old Natalie Portman fan site (which was one of the first sites I built to allow me to practice my HTML) and move it to a CMS. After some of the serious tweaks it took to get Go Set Jetting running I decided to branch out and try something other than WordPress as the site was mainly static pages and WP isn’t really designed for that. So I went for a wander around. I like Textpattern and have thought about using it for a while, but my confidence in WP has stopped me before. I wasn’t too keen on Txp’s templating system, I don’t like editing CSS and template files in a textbox, I like my editor. Having checked out what else was available though, I wasn’t much impressed, and having dabbled with it previously, Txp won the fight.
So, I set about finding a template I liked as a starting point before I hacked it (I rarely design from scratch anymore, but equally, I rarely use an unmodified template either) and getting it up and running. One of the things I liked about Txp when I first tried it was the flexibility it offered, literally anything is possible using a combination of sections, categories, forms, page templates and a sprinkling of CSS, that I found astounding.
The Txp community is really coming along and I was able to find plugins to fill any gaps I found, although WordPress’ backend and template system leaves Txp in its wake, the lack of a Txp template system is the first thing that needs serious attention. Having said that, WordPress does lack a bit of flexibility, especially in the in-built functions, so something like Txp’s forms would give a vast amount of flexibility to displaying any element, either from the WordPress core or a plugin.
Anyway, I’m trying to cut down on the number of redesigns I do this year, time seems to be flying by, it’s nearly April already and a third of the year is gone. I’m trying to focus on finishing one of my screenplays next month, so if it goes quiet again, you’ll know why, but I have got a couple of snippets tucked away that I hope will lead to interesting articles.