I’ve been blogging with WordPress for around five years as of next month. That’s frightening. It makes me feel old.
WordPress is a superb bit of software, and it’s done me good service while I’ve used it. However, after five years of shunting it around various servers, fiddling with MySQL and arguing with TinyMCE, it’s time for a change.
From now on, I will be using OctoPress to generate my blog. It was a pig to set up, but, in the long run, I believe it will be more resilient and more convenient for me to write for. Support for linked lists, á la Gruber, Arment et. al has just been added, so I now consider it to be ready for me to use it. I did take a look at Marco Arment’s Second Crack, but couldn’t get it to work reliably–Marco’s warning that it’s unsuitable for almost everyone should be taken literally.
Hosting is still on the fabulous NearlyFreeSpeech.net and things will continue this way for the foreseeable future. The theme is a modified version of the OctoPress default theme, with the sidebar turned off because I like narrow columns. One technical advantage from the reader’s point of view is that the new theme should scale down a lot more nicely on smaller screens: if you read this on your phone, you should receive a much nicer drop-down menu for moving between pages, and columns that shrink themselves!
Finally, this blog also has a new address: rothwell.im. None of the old content has been moved over, but it will continue to remain at notroswell.com forever (or, for as long as I can be bothered to pay the anually-increasing VeriSign minimum registration fee.) If you’re using a feed reader, please re-point it to the new address.
Essentially, this is a fresh start. Five years ago, I was a secondary school student with a reasonable grasp of some aspects of technology, many ill-informed opinions and a pipe dream of writing for an audience. Now, I’m studying for a BSc in Computer Science in London, a city I fell in love with around eighteen months after those first, tentative posts using WordPress. Around this time last year, I wrote a bleak, depressing little short story for a competition at college about a man, dying from cancer, taken by the narrator on a one-way Grand Tour of the universe. It won.
This does speak to a lot of things: quite apart from any personal maturity I may fool myself into thinking I have attained, my writing has improved substantially. This is why I’m not particularly bothered about bringing most of the stuff over from the old blog: as I said, the old site will remain up indefinitely, but once I get round to it I’ll probably only bring the choiciest cuts over from the old site.
At this rate, by 2017 I’ll be Donald Knuth, J. K. Rowling and Stephen Fry all rolled into one. (Weirder things have happened.)
All that remains for me to do is to thank you, dear reader, for putting up with my drivel for the last five years–and I do hope that, when I come to write another self-congratulatory post in five years’ time, you’ll still be there to wallow in my continued mediocrity.