First post!

I’m rebooting this blog. It’s a long time coming.

My first “blog” was back in 2003. As was fashionable back then, I wrote my own, custom blogging software in PHP. In 2005, I ditched the custom software and started using Drupal, starting with Drupal 4.5.

I become fairly skilled with Drupal: I wrote themes, modules, launched several Websites for myself and clients, ran a Drupal-oriented consulting firm and Web hosting company, and managed scalability at a startup built on Drupal.

I, very painfully, upgraded those sites and this blog, which started with Drupal 4.5, all the way up to Drupal 7. It was not easy or fun.

I had to constantly deal with security upgrades. Upgrading to new Drupal versions required a witch hunt to find which 3rd party modules were deprecated, which new modules I should use to replace them, and in what ways those modules worked differently. And then there was all the spam—even with Acquia’s Mollom service, too much spam got through, requiring constant moderation.

The thing that did Drupal in for me was SA-CORE-2014-005, fixed in Drupal 7.32. After over 10 years of following Drupal security updates, I missed one, by just a few hours—and my site was hacked. While restoring from my backups, I made a mistake and deleted the most recent one.

If I wasn’t turned off to PHP Web applications before, I’m really, really turned off to them now. After using Drupal for almost 10 years, I’m switching to something else (at least for my personal stuff).

Because I didn’t want to deal with upgrading or security issues, it meant using something like Ghost or Wordpress was out.

The new Samat Says is powered by Nikola, a static site generator. I looked at Jekyll, Blogofile, Pelican, but Nikola seemed the easiest for me to understand, extend, and most importantly has a vibrant, active community.

For a long time, I cared about owning my comments and not being tied to a 3rd party service. After dealing with all the spam my old Drupal site received, I now care quite a bit less. I’d like to move to a self-hosted, or better yet federated, commenting solution in the future but for the time being I’m using Disqus. I haven’t figured out how I will migrate old comments yet.

Worth mentioning: you may have noticed this isn’t an actual first post. I’m slowly migrating content from the old blog (probably only the popular bits) from my old Drupal installation over to this Nikola-powered one.


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