Brave New World
After a year or so of not learning any significant new technology, April has brought two client projects that require a trial by fire immersion into ASP.NET 2.0 and Wordpress.
Interestingly enough, I haven’t really learned anything completely new in several years. Textpattern was my last major accomplishment, and I can now bend that system to my every whim. So it was getting a bit stale around here. I love CSS, I love TXP, I love accessibility … but it was time for a new challenge.
This month, I signed on two new projects, both using technologies never before touched by this designer.
This is an interesting one. It shares a lot of surface similarities with PHP, but does some cool proprietary stuff that makes development a bit easier. Master pages are neat, as are XML sitemaps and some of the funkier controls that can be inserted.
So far, so good. It’s a very plain language, and I’ve been able to dismantle and edit scripts with success. I have not yet delved into making calls to a SQL database, but that feat is right around the corner.
When I chose Textpattern over Wordpress, it was after a deliberating process of examining the overall functionality, the backend interface and the community. I knew at the time Wordpress was more popular—and that it would grow to be even more popular—but I chose TXP because it felt more like a “total solution” and less like a blog-specific tool.
Well the time has come for me to know thy enemy. A new client project is being built on Wordpress (and it’s not a blog), so it’s going to be trial by fire. WP garners praise for its simplicity, and my co-worker (who uses the system on his own site) assures me there’s little to be afraid of. And he’s a smart guy. So who knows.
Jon Hicks—a fellow Textpattern user—recently wrote a brief comparative list between the two content management systems. After I complete this new project, I plan on doing the same thing.