Unfinished Thoughts

by William Flake

Winding Up

Well, well, well. What have we here? It looks vaguely like… a website! blows off dust Wow! I don’t think it’s been touched for months!

Okay, I’ll admit, it may appear that maintaining a daily blog is out of my grasp. And sorry about leaving you with such a cliff-hanger of a post. Allow me explain. No, there is no time; let me summarize.

How a Website Crumbles

Or, The Straw That Broke the Website’s Back

About the time I redesigned the site a year ago, the spam-bots decided that my open comment forms were too enticing to pass up. I was tired of getting so many spam messages, especially during Salkehatchie week (when I had an actual reader or two.) As a patch-up effort, I wrote the simple “What is the sum of these two numbers” CAPTCHA you may have noticed. In theory, it should have worked well; in reality, it didn’t work. It was far too complicated for its own good (my bad), failed to stop spam (my bad), didn’t let real people comment (my bad), and I pushed it live just before leaving town (bad timing). In my rush to fix the site during Salkehatchie week, I crippled the system and left my code filled with fragile junk. Fixing the problems my rush-job caused on a two-year-old fragile codebase was not going to be an easy task.

So, faced with a daunting code-cleanup job, I did what any small time coder with other things on his mind would do: nothing. For months.

Moving Forward

That major rewrite is currently going on. I have refactored all of the blog code, making it more stable, secure, and easy to build upon. These changes required that I change the style code (which also had a LOT of built-up cruft.) Heck, I’ve even updated the ePortfolio to reflect the new Gen. Ed. Competencies. There’s a lot more work to do to clean up the place, but a lot of the hard stuff is out of the way.

This is just the start. With a leaner and newer foundation, I’ll make this website and blog a place that I can be proud of again.

Thanks for bearing with me.



William Flake

I’ve now written a basic spam filter to remove the most obvious spam immediately. I’ll revise it as necessary in the future.