It’s true: when I don’t have anything to tweak, I have no choice but to publish.
I asked someone last week at a coffee shop, “do you publish?” What I intended by that was to find out if he blogged. The word “blog” is so ugly and faddish, I can’t bring myself to use it in public. In fact, I don’t ever want to use it as a verb for the rest of my life. I could be alone in this feeling but I doubt that I am.
bl publishing on Blogger about fourteen months ago. My condition in life was pretty poor and the people I knew were not receptive to discussion about it, so I found other channels. When the inspiration to write would ebb, I would delve into the Blogger templating system and try to do tricks with my blog. When I ran out of template tags to play with, I looked around for a more complex blogging tool.
Enter WordPress, stage “hell yeah!” Here was a tool that led me to learn PHP, MySQL, some Apache tricks and a fair amount of Linux. Today, I operate four publicly accessible WordPress sites (personal, testing, BOTD and this) and a few local copies for development on my laptop. Scripts I have written or hacked (especially this) are downloaded several times daily and if I ever saw how many times they ran each day on different servers, I would probably have to go outside and lie down in the grass.
Today I am working on several projects, some new and some old. The older scripts and plugins need maintenance, optimization and new features. The new ones get more ambitious each time. Right now I’m trying to wrap all of PHP into a secure, form-based package so that non-programmers can customize their sites without risk of corrupting data or exposing critical system functions to untrusted users.
I haven’t even mentioned the best part of this whole story: I get so much pleasure out of what I am doing, I can hardly tear myself away to sleep after a 16-hour day of it. The downside is that because I fend for myself at home, I must find time for things like folding laundry and cooking meals. One day I’ll find someone to watch over me.