Building a new web site

OK – I’m going to restart my blog here from scratch. I’ve dumped all the old stuff, and will now blog about some of the things I’m learning as I build a new, modern web site. Part of this will be to share what I learn, and so I hope help others. Part will be so I can remember what I did.

I’ve been working on a new web site since late 2007, so far doing everything myself. It has gone a lot slower than I had hoped, but it’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot. The new site is still proprietary, so I won’t talk much about that, but I will cover some things I’ve learned.

So, just to help me remember what I want to talk about, here’s some topics to come:

1. Basic model for a modern web site: dynamic, easy-to-use, lots of AJAX.

2. Development tools – MacPro + VMWare = Amazing development platform

3. Freeware – use it or not?

4. Amazon AWS – clouds are the future

5. Current state of grammar checking

The last is what is currently driving my work. If you are developing new web sites, and haven’t heard about cloud computing (which I somehow missed until very recently), this is the wave of the future, and at the moment, Amazon’s AWS is about the only game in town. AWS totally levels the playing field for startup web sites, and will really allow for near zero capital startup costs. The problem is that it has a pretty steep learning curve and is still so young that there aren’t as many tools available as you’d like. But the upside is incredible.

About brucewampler

I've had a long and varied careen in the computer industry. I taught computer science at the University of New Mexico for nearly 15 years. I founded two successful computer software companies. I wrote the first spelling checker and first grammar checkers for personal computers. I've lived in Glenwood Springs for 10 years. My wife, Trina, grew up here, and I've been coming to Glenwood since 1977. My kids have attended the local public schools, and have had a great experience. My son, Van, will be attending the University of Colorado starting in the fall of 2007, and my daughter is a Sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School. I've been on the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education for almost 5 years. Working with our kids, teachers, schools, principals, administrators, and the Roaring Fork community has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.
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2 Responses to Building a new web site

  1. Will says:

    Looking forward to reading more from you. I know of you because I used WordPerfect daily 1988-2001. I gave it up because my employer moved over to Word. I still have it on my own PC but get by without WordPerfect most of the time.

    Your Grammatik grammar checker remains an excellent program. I enjoyed your April 2002 contribution to the NYT article suggesting that evolution of grammar checking software ended in 1992. I agree that software to help the user write and check work has not improved much since then. QuickCorrect, from the same era, remains a feature I would not wish to be without.

    Word 2007’s contextual spell-checker adds little to what Grammatik could do. Apart from that – and a few less well-known programs including Nick Wright of Editor Software’s Stylewriter, over here in England (but sold and used in the States), and the Thiesmeyers’ Serenity-Software Editor in the States – nothing.

    I had wondered whether phrase prediction software, from just after that time, might take off – for example, the late Jean Ichbiah of Textware’s Instant Text – but it has remained in a niche, with medical transcriptionists.

    Perhaps it’s word processing itself that is becoming a niche application, with people getting by with the simplified writing standards used for e-mail and (some) blogs?

  2. brucewampler says:

    The state of grammar checking drives me crazy. A very recent academic study (no links at the moment) shows that 1992 Grammatik still easily beats the current Microsoft grammar checker in Word.

    I’ll devote an entry to this sometime later. Thanks for your comments.

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