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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Unnecessary Evils: PHP vs YAML for configuration files part two

When I chose PHP over YAML as in the configuration files for the Content Connection Kit. It was a good choice but it came with some bad memories of awful attempts by other projects. Often in CMS'slike Drupal you'll see mixtures of syntax and no real conventions used for formatting the settings file. Too much chaos for me so I set out to do better with CCK and came up with something special.

Unnecessary Evils: Configuration files PHP vs. Yaml vs. PHP

While working on the configuration file routine for Content Connection Kit I had some decisions to make. Do I go with the trendy YAML or the tried an true PHP array. I first heard tale of YAML when I began doing ruby  a few years ago  not ruby on rails but  ruby the language. After a while I became accustomed to it. Later I came to hate it. Somehow the syntax interfered with my learning of Ruby.  I dropped Ruby and forgot about Yaml after an employment change.

Making a better framework or CMS from hating Drupal : content types

I confess that my 12 year affair with Drupal was more hate than love. While I loved the things I could do with Drupal I hated how it had to be done. Wordpress was like a bad first date that never ends, always disappointed and unsure about what will happen next. Rather that writing organized list or beautifully worded blog post I am just going to write some lines on each point I disliked and then flow it up with one or two lines about how the Content Connection Kit does not have those problems mentioned.

How not doing Wordpress and Drupal development is becoming a business.

Long ago I started using Drupal because it fill a gap in my partners and my  business  needs.  We were using  a custom built CMS that I was developing  but  our customer based changed suddenly.  My simple CMS needed some serious functionality quickly.  There was no time to develop the functionality and  keep the new clients satisfied. At that  time I was a Perl programmer and just switching over to PHP 4.0.  So I  looked for a PHP package that filled the clients needs. Originally we would have gone with phpBB but  I decided that  Drupals forum capabilities were good enough and  the blog  parts were something we could sell the clients on.

I used Drupal for our clients for years but even in the beginning  I was never really satisfied with how it was being developed.  There's a list of things that disturbed me I won't get into them all here and now but let's just I liked the way Drupal worked. I just did not always like the way the code to get there was  done.  I tried to express my opinions to the community  but then found that there was one more thing that I did not  like about Drupal, the community.  But in the interest of business I  turned a blind eye to it after a few failed attempts to  be part of the community I resigned myself to a read only mode of communication. I then turned some attention to Wordpress. A good number of years went by before I found that Wordpress was ok for my clients but bad for me.


Today I no longer use  Drupal or Wordpress. I  stopped taking on new work at the end of  2014 and made a  cold turkey exit(' drop clients and stop all efforts and coding in Drupal');  But after a time I found that  I still needed a framework to do business and  the ones I considered for a replacement of  Drupal were  contained many of the things I was trying to get away from, including communities that I did not like.

Maybe I am not a joiner or maybe my ideas are too important to me to have them molded by outsiders. Could be that I suffer from hubris syndrome. But I felt that the only way that I was ever going to be satisfied with the code and the communities would be if I did it all myself.  Doing it all  alone was how I started in the beginning. In the beginning I needed no partners or communities but when I tried to become bigger suddenly I did. To fix this I am going smaller and doing what I like with the clients that I like with a codebase that is fun and easy to use for just me.

Well I won't put the entire blame on myself. Part of the problem was the type of communities of which I was trying to be a member.  It took me along time to realize. I did not like or belong to communities based on GPL licensed opensource code. The mentalities and directions of the members of those communities never seemed to be inline with my own ambitions. I don't want notoriety or fame just to be paid for what I am worth and the work that I do. I am acutely allergic to fan-boys, rule of law and  moderation of communities.

I have some ideas and convictions about  open source, the GPL, communities, PHP and  doing business of which I am going to indulge and not allow myself to be persuaded from by others.  I'll be writing about those things here in short blog  posts about  what I am doing.  Sometimes it might be a long insightful  post at others it might be a  300 words bitch. But it will mostly be about what  I see online in the context of  programming and doing business with PHP.

Let's start with the fact that it took me 12 years of  suffering through Drupal and Wordpress to finally come to the conclusion that I will only ever be content with being a small time solo entrepreneur. Open source and the GPL allow very little space for people like me. There is more out there in the area of closed source mobile apps and less permissive licensing. I will have to deal with that and make it a business very soon.

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