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Himeji Castle

Catchy Silly Words

At work we recently had a week that wasn't insanely crazy, so we spent our extra time setting up a tech blog and a tech wiki. The blog is for announcements, news and comments and the wiki is for documentation. Both of them are working well, and I think I'll try and make both mandatory at any future workplace lucky enough to be blessed by my presence. I can't actually link either of them, since for security and privacy reasons both are internal to the company. After all, we don't rally want clients reading Client Foo McFoo is a drooling moron, so ask his secretary for the product codes.

Software-wise, we used MediaWiki for the wiki and WordPress for the blog. MediaWiki seems really solid, being much prettier and less fattening than PHPWiki, the wiki software we were using before. PHPWiki didn't allow the insertion of HTML directly in the page, and tended to mangle code in subtle ways that would only be discovered later in final testing. That really, really sucked.

As for Wordpress, I've been fairly amazed. Obviously it's the product of many iterations of incremental improvement, but there's so much nifty stuff in it that I've seriously been thinking about chucking my moderately half-assed PHP site management system and replacing it with WordPress, or another blogging system like Movable Type. Categories, comments, fulltext searching, archives, multiple authors, skins and templates, plugins, moderation, syndication, file uploads, quicktags... it's like toddling around the neighbourhood on a pogo stick for years and then being given a fully-kitted-out BMW, with an East European ex-model girl chauffeur who can also double as a masseuse.

Me using Wordpress also raises the question of why I don't outsource more of my site. The other big tool screaming to be used would be Flickr for my photo stream and galleries, but considering that they are pretty much 90% of my entire site at the moment, it wouldn't leave a lot else be be hosted here. I'd probably go for a Flickr Pro Account for US$25 a year, as the normal Flickr has cheesy Yahoo ads on it and an upload limit of 20MB a month. Being part of the crosslinked Flickr hypercommunity does sound cool, but the idea of migrating to it makes me feel like I'd be leaving the little house that Ham built for a shiny clone living unit in a gated community of six million drones.