A history of website development of sofobomo.com Part I


Part I :A History of sofobomo.com (the second SoFoBoMo that is…)

For as long as I have been running SoFoBoMo 2.0… That’s not a good way to start this post is it? Let me try again…

I made the decision to restart SoFoBoMo (or start SoFoBoMo 2.0) back in mid-2013 after obsessing about it for about 8-9 months. The first and most immediate thing I needed was a website – which I decided to build by myself.

Sometime in September 2013 or so, I built a plain HTML+CSS kind of website – and realized I needed something with more features, something a little more complex like authentication and user profiles and some such.

I then spent the next 5 months building a Ruby on Rails version of the SoFoBoMo website – this without ever having understood or learnt MVC or any other software architectural patterns. Indeed, I didn’t know of such a thing as a software architectural pattern. Now that I do this for a living, I appreciate how ignorant I was, and how brave I was in my ignorance. It’s funny how you always realize how ignorant you were in the past…, and how the more you learn, the more there is to learn…

I actually had a completed RoR website by March 2014– but I rightly realized that with my limited understanding and expertise, maintenance would become a huge issue and decided to abandon it. I did learn a lot with that iteration of the website- how much I didn’t know, how much my learning methodology needed tweaking and how eager I was to learn new things. There are good things to learn about oneself, if you ask me…

At this point, I was a little panicky as I needed a website by at least October to run SoFoBoMo 2014. Actually I needed it a little earlier – to add content, to reach out to the previous SoFoBoMo participants and to add their books to this new website I was building, start a mailing list etc. So I decided to fall-back to the easiest option – to use a Content Management System.

But which one? Word Press? Joomla? Drupal? Something else? Doing some research, I had to choose between Word Press and Drupal. This choice was easy. Since I had used Word Press for various self hosted blogs and such, I picked up Drupal. One always chooses the complete unknown over something one has tried and tested before, right?

And so today’s SoFoBoMo site is in Drupal 7. (I did manage to curb my enthusiasm for the unknown and chose 7 over 8).

And that is the short history of www.sofobomo.com – at least when it comes to web development.

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