palmr.co.uk is finally here
Well, after many years of planning and talking about it I’ve finally started moving my online presence from the old palmnet moniker to the new palmr name.
The old palmnet.me.uk site has served me well, though it has been through many styles over the years. Initially from 2004-2006 is was a horrible mass of static black pages with white text, flash intro files with blaring music and even bravehost widgets.
Then in 2004 I found a small, simple blogging system called nanoblog written in PHP. I put it on the site and started hacking. For over a year palmnet.me.uk evolved and I learned all the basics of PHP development from that time. I started off by modifying the styling, then adding editable links menu sections and in the end posts could have “reactions” and ratings too.
Learning from that all future instances of the site would be all my own code and all about learning new things and trying out new web development methodologies.
In April 2007 I did a total rewrite. I wrote as CMS, as anyone doing web development does when first starting out, and hooked it up to a blogging system. For the first time the page design wasn’t table based and wasn’t just static fill colours. It was in the era of “web 2.0” being the next big thing so visually it’s full of gradients, rounded corners and barely visible drop shadows and diagonal lines.
It’s been heavily modified over the past 5 years but still looks and functions the same as it did on release day in 2007. Most of my time was instead spent on content, making scripts, games and attempting to create an open source project or two. University also redirected time previously spent on the web to lectures and coursework. Some of which made it back onto the palmnet site.
In the middle of 2012 I finally started experimenting with a redesign of everything related to my web presence. I’m not a designer so getting it looking like this site currently does took me quite a lot of time. Thankfully I didn’t follow through with my first design which was very grey & purple and ultimately hideous and bland.
Thankfully I went back to the drawing board. As a Windows Phone user I really liked the flat design aesthetic Microsoft have started employing. Though it doesn’t work well for interaction when followed too strictly the lack of gradients, shadows and all the general design style of realism appealed to me. Here, hopefully, the content will be the focus and not the fancy design. So the inital mock up was just done with the rectangle tool with a bit of text to mock the design up.
Here’s some information about the new site.
Simply put, all domain names with my name written properly were either already taken, very pricey, or on awkward TLDs.
palmr can be pronounced the same as Palmer (though over the phone it can be a pain to explain that it’s palm-R) and with the dropped vowel it reminds me of the mid-2000s when sites like flickr ruled.
So far I’ve re-written everything from the ground up. I haven’t used a single line of code from my old website. Hopefully that makes this one a lot better.
This site is written with a web framework I designed myself to make managing things easier. It’s more involved than a regular CMS but gives me easy and safe ways to interact with a database and layout my pages with the 3-column layout that it uses.
The blog is really light and foregoes all the features I would never use. I can make a new post with a subject and a body in markdown. No tags or categories, no user sign up, no file upload system. People can comment on a post but there’s no comment threading or parsing of user comments. Hopefully this means it won’t bring down the server with massive CPU load or give any potential hackers any way in.
What’s left TODO
My TODO file for this project is still rather large, unfortunately for me. Here’s some excerpts:
- Finish admin backend
- Write about page content
- Create projects system
- Hook in to GitHub
- Hook in to local git server