Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Don't Overcomplicate Simple

It amazes me how the simple things can become so complicated sometimes. As developers, there is expected complexity in our jobs to deliver something that is easy for a non-developer user to utilize. It's really useful, however, to also have something that is simple to deploy for other developers. When it comes to utilities, plug-ins, extensions, and APIs, it's always nice to be able to avoid installing and manually configuring 60+ options and configs to get a simple rich-text editor.

That's what set this off for me - a simple rich-text editor. I am working on a project that has a section for "additional notes" on the page, and the expected functionality is for the textarea to allow simple functions like bold, italics, bullet and number lists, and hyperlinks. Being the involved developer I am, I started searching for something to avoid writing my own. And man are there options. The problem is I needed free (don't we all) and simple (ditto), and while free is actually easy to find,  I didn't realize what a problem simple could be. When I searched for editors I found ratings and lists of "The Best Editors" and "The greatest free editors!" and yet nothing focussed on ease of use or simplicity to configure.

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Initial Post

Here's a bit of irony for you: I have been working with websites since my pre high school days, I do it professionally and have been since graduating from college, I have helped many friends, and even more strangers, with getting a website live or debugging and fixing one that already existed, and this is my first time posting to a personal blog. But isn't that how it always goes? After all, isn't the mechanic's car always the one still in need of fixing?

Well, I broke down today and finally decided to jump into a temporary position. The idea is the same, and has been from the start, but the design, form, layout, is all something already existing. That's not how I like to do things, and is definitely not the way to approach it if you want to be different and stand out, but it's a start. And the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one: I have a problem getting my own website finished!