Digital Web Magazine

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A new backend... no pilates involved!

Jonathan Greene

September 6, 2007 at 1:49 PM

Over the last few weeks Walker Hamilton has been working with other core members of the Digital Web team to revamp the inner workings of this website. I am sure Walker would have had a hard time building the new Digital Web if he weren’t working with some really great people on the Digital Web team. Matthew Pennel saved Walker’s keyboard some abuse, and Nick Finck, Carolyn Wood and Tiff Fehr provided much help and guidance. These great folks volunteered their time to help track/squash bugs and make sure the feature set rocked.

While I cannot consider myself a member of the DW team, I am proud that Walker has been able to invest some of our company’s (visicswire) time and energy into this project. We love taking great things and making them better. Congrats again to the team, and enjoy!


Tiff Fehr

September 6, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Rock on, Walker! And thanks for the note, Jonathan. We’re grateful you and visicswire shared so much of Walker’s recent energy on Digital Web. While only a handful can see the amazing revamp of our back-end tools, trust me they’re fantastic. Much adoration in Walker’s direction.

Also, I still think some pilates would have helped. Maybe the part of pilates that just resembles lying on a comfortable floor and napping.


September 6, 2007 at 2:20 PM

I’m sure I am not the only reader who would like some more information on your new CMS!

Walker Hamilton

September 6, 2007 at 2:38 PM

The new CMS is custom built in cakephp. I made some very slight modifications to the database, so it was quite easy to occasionally synch up with the newest version of the DB from the live site.

I know that frameworks are convention over configuration, but most, including cake, allow you to specify which field is the auto-incremented id even if it’s not called “id”, etc.

We are now using textile for commenting and formatting blog entries (news). Eventually I hope to role textile into the main article formatting & publishing process, but that’s not something that can happen right now (we have more than 10 years of back-content that would have to be accomodated and displayed using the old manner).

I took the “force the preview” approach to combatting spam with this new system. I really enjoy using textpattern for my own site. It has kept much of the spam of the internet off my blog because of it’s forced preview commenting system, so I decided to go with what seems to work (and this process doesn’t add much more work to the user’s input side as captcha can).


September 7, 2007 at 12:01 PM

The forced preview choice is simple genius.

I’ve been reading digital-web since its inception, and have wished all the while that you’d license the CMS it’s built on.

How’bout it?

Nick Finck

September 8, 2007 at 7:57 AM

The old CMS was built by Cal Henderson, one of the main guys who programmed Flickr. We did have a lot of people ask us about our custom CMS. We never licensed it, we simply gave it away. We did this because the code really wasn’t setup to be licensed… it was setup to do the job it needed to at the time.

With Walkers changes… and I am going to call it, a new CMS here (Walker correct me if I am wrong), but it just may very well be something clean enough to package and license or at the very least Open Source.

All and all, these are conversations that Walker and I need to have to determine what we will be doing. Just keep in mind that we’re in the business of educating web professionals, not selling software.


December 14, 2007 at 6:38 PM

Interesting you are making a new backend…. thats just the thing ive been doing the past few weeks.
It would be awesome to release a CMS package…. i might use it.

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