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Ian Tregillis web site

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Very few people would notice this, but my magnum opus of websites, iantregillis.com, has gone through some incredibly significant changes lately.

For the geeks out there, I'm going to write up what I learned about .htaccess files and how to update your site's htaccess file to rewrite the URL based on the query string. But first, Ian's story.

It all started with a power outage. I've run a development server in my basement for as long as I can remember, which these days is about six years. Back then (as now) ColdFusion hosting was fairly expensive because it's a proprietary for-profit server package, and a very expensive one at that. For what it does, PHP is way better and free. But back then, all I knew was ColdFusion.

So I ran a few of the early production sites on my development server, and when the power would go out I'd hope that the APC backup power would last the outage. For the most part it did, until we had a severe wind storm and the power was out for five days straight.

Luckily I had been working on updating Ian's site and converting it from ColdFusion to PHP. Under the hood everything got a lot simpler as I used a CMS that I was developing to make it easier for a person to edit their website.

This CMS is pretty cool, though still in its infancy. It uses some pretty neat HTML5 tricks to create a true WYSIWYG interface for the admin user. When Ian sees his site as the admin, he sees the same site you do. The difference is that he can edit it directly, right there in place on the website, and see what it looks like immediately before saving it, when everyone else can see it. 

How cool is that? I was originally developing it to use on my clients websites, but now I'm thinking about making it an open-source project and getting some help from the hordes of talented passionate programmers out there who also despise the WordPress CMS interface.

It's pretty portable. In fact, this new site of mine is running entirely in it, after a few configuration changes to the code base and a new template style. I really like using it, it gets the interface out of the way and lets you concentrate on creating and formatting the content. Want a picture? Just drag one in from your desktop and drop it where you want it to go. You can resize it and move it around just by clicking on it. 

Anyway, the power outage forced me to launch the new site a little bit before it was ready, and I've been plugging leaks in the code for a few weeks now. I think it's finally ready to go, so go check it out!


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