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Hello World!

First of all, I'd like to welcome all of you to my brand new personal website.

In this first post, i'm going to explain what it's all about and also why did I make the choice of building a blog from scratch instead of using one of the many well known CMSes out there.

Why did i do this?

I needed a place to publish my online portfolio, composed mainly by my webdesigning works, so that it would be accessible by future employers/clients/everyone. I also wanted to be able to get some feedback on smaller projects, case studies on a certain subject, etc. So i needed a "workshop". Sounds like a personal website so far, right? :)

I also wanted to have a blog which was more dynamic than my previous one, so I decided to build a personal website with a blog included.

Next question...

Why build a blog from scratch?

There are many answers to this question. I'll try to summarize them all.

Being portuguese, sometimes i need to discuss some issues that don't matter to anyone but the portuguese folk, so there was no point in posting it in english and expect everyone to be able to read it. So in my head, I imagined a sort of filter, that would allow users to choose which posts they wanted to see. So i needed suport for multi-language posts.
I searched the web, and came nowhere near a pleasant solution.

Another thing that i can call a pet-peeve is that almost every blogging CMS have a very weak authentication system. Anyone can pose as someone else... That has always left me a bit uncomfortable, and since users should be able to choose the website's language and also other navigation options, it became pretty clear to me i needed an user accounting system. I didn't want to rely on cookies for this.
I understand this brings a heavier load on the user's side, but since it's possible to be automatically logged in you don't have to type in your username and password everytime you come here.

I also wanted to learn more about PHP, CSS, Javascript and XHTML. I was familiar with all of these but still I wanted to go deeper. However, I was completely lost in matters regarding XML and XSLT, which i had to learn along the way: So if i was to build a blogging platform from scratch i would have to deal with all these factors, which would certainly benefit me. And they did.

I came across many issues that allowed me to become more familiar with all these technologies, some of those issues taught me to plan better before getting started.
Planning played a big role in this project, since it helped me to avoid issues that would have come up later down the road, and also helped me coming up with simpler solutions to complex tasks. (i will explore this matter in a later post)

basecampI have to mention BaseCamp now, because it helped me a lot while planning my tasks and not forgetting about some to-do's. I recommend it vividly. It's a wonderfully written web application, which explores AJAX to its full potential and lets you make to-do lists, establish milestones, interact with other group members and more. It also helps you get in touch with your clients, letting them know what's being done and who's doing what. Very useful.

Oh, and the last and ultimate reason? Self-respect. I had to know if I could pull this off. I still don't know if I did... I need your opinions on this. :)

Why did it take so long?

For those who have come here earlier and found a "Coming Soon" page probably know that this wasn't done overnight. I've been working on this since early 2005, and only registered the domain in late April.

So why did it take me so long? Well, this wasn't developed not even in a part-time scheme. As you probably know already, i'm studying Computer Engineering, so i had to split my time between school projects, studying, girlfriend and this personal project. As you can see, this probably took the last place on my priority list.

But hey, eventually, i finished it, right? That's what counts. :)


I tried to design the website to be as instinctive as possible, but if you run into any problems just let me know, and i'll get back to you.

If you find any bugs, and it's possible you will, help me by reporting them. I thank you for that.

I hereby declare this blog, open. :D


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