CMS Hunting

Oh how I love CMS (or for the layman- Content Management Systems) hunting.

Back in the day- you only had a few CMS systems to choose from. Early attempts at making a site a few years ago had me going absolutely crazy for the Mambo CMS engine. Soon after, Joomla was my pick for a few sites I designed for others, for not only being based on the Mambo framework, but it’s flexibility.

At one point, back in the days I used to help with the Cornstalker Webcomics Collective, an entire site based in Joomla was being designed for the group. I had to ditch the website, along with its commerce systems, because some of the artists did not want to learn another login for it.

Augh. Bad memories, whatever. It was a great learning experience doing that group.

Anyways, today, there is a lot more to choose from. And the dynamic nature of some of them has me really tempted to toy around with them for my upcoming site.

Webhook has been the one CMS project that I’ve been wanting to really play around with- especially considering its design to keep data as crazy as I want it to be. I’ll be holding off on it, however, until it’s reached some maturity in it

Now, the main choice nowadays for websites is, of course, WordPress.

It’s one of the most (and prevalent) CMS systems out there. It’s what this blog is on, and what my future project is going to use. Why?

  • Support for it is unparalleled- even if you’re running it on your own server.
  • Themes are easy to come by- I’m actually really impressed by how good some of the pro themes look like. I’m considering buying one and remixing it to my uses rather than spending extra time getting the site to look similar to what I want.
  • Plugins are plentiful, and can add an extra level of functionality you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

The time I would spend researching and trying to develop with the new CMS would take forever for me nowadays. Now, I need something that will work and will work well.

WordPress it is.

dj orta dot com.

I’ve been holding off on launching my own personal website for a few years now.

And when I mean launch, actually launch and use the fricking thing. I had installed WordPress on it a millennia ago, importing everything over from my livejournal upon it. I started double posting things on both livejournal and WordPress at the same time, actually, using MarsEdit as an intermediary (I seriously can’t say enough good things about that app- buy it if you do any sort of blogging on more than one site. Hell, when I posted on insulinfunk years and years ago, I would keep all my drafts on MarsEdit before I published them on the site proper) before I gave up on Livejournal a few years ago. Since then, I’ve been posting things to my original URL (danielorta.com) from time to time, when my mind actually remembered to post things to it.

The biggest problem I’ve been facing is my own satisfation. I’ve been trying to get something off the ground, something I can be proud of. And I’ve tried- time and time again. I’ve tried multiple ideas and designs, and honestly, I’m sick and tired of the whole process. I finally have a simple, clean design I’m satisfied with.

So in short- I’m relaunching my website, now here, at DJ Orta dot com. It’ll have a small version of my portfolio work (done so far) along with some other goodies.

New Website Launch: Primo Catalano Photography

I’ve been out of designing and coding sites for some time now, but I just recently got back into it, thanks to my friend Primo. He needed a site to show off his work, so I made him one. It’s all mostly done in JavaScript, using the wonderful gallery system from One Mighty Roar named Supersized. I had to make a few changes, and well, more is to come. I have a laundry list of things I want to accomplish with this site, mostly seeing if i can get the hang of combining jquery elements without fucking up the downloads. Also, I want to have the images hosting on a separate site- perhaps some sort of CDN (content delivery network). I want the site to be at least up and running now, just so that local clients (who don’t have to wait long anyways, because the server is in Los Angeles) can take a look at his work. After that is done, I should have more regular pushes to the site done. It feels great to code for the first time in a long time, even though I’ve become utterly terrible at it. Drove me up the wall, but I might dedicate some time to hopefully learning more javascript.

schoools out, for the wiintterrrrr

Thank god, school’s done. Well, until February, that is. I’m currently relaxing at a freind’s house, letting him and his brother sate their addiction to various shooters and fighting games on my PS3, which I had left at their house in order for me to concentrate on my studies and finals . I swear, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is has been played more often on my PS3 than any other game thanks to those two. It’s a game that’s aged (for the year or two since i’s been out) quite well. Their current addiction is to go through each and every one of the levels on Terrorist Hunt, trying to beat them on the hardest difficulty setting. Their conversations and arguements while playing games together have been utterly amusing to me, down to brotherly bickering (mocking falsettos being one of their favorite methods over the use of a certain weapon or tactic to use. I might record their arguments and have it overlaid recordings of their gameplay, once I get the necessary equipment. There are no plans for classes for winter inter-session for me- i personally don’t like it, but i haven’;t been able to do any major work on my own projects during the semester, but i hope to get this time to get the projects done. I’m writing up proposals and such for the projects, as they’re going to require quite a bit of manpower. I hate talking like this in a vague sense, but I’m waiting until deals are finished and some major work is done and out of the way before i start talking about things. Some of the projects i’ve been working on have had me searching for the proper CMS engines to build upon. While I don’t want to build an outright blog and have a chronological order to all the data, I’d rather have a hybrid of sorts- to hold the information I wish in a spacial order, but have a front page blog that can keep people updated on the overall information on the site. Well, only heavy testing will help me turn out results of any kind, really. Oh yeah, I turned 21. Go me.

CMSSSSSSssss

With the weekend has come a whole messload of things to do. For one, I did get a lot of the code i had intended to get through- the Cornstalker’s new forums theme has been mastered into its own original copy, and I’ve been starting the import from the old CSS files from the front page to the forums. With the negative response I’ve recieved from the new-ish design, I may go with a new layout, but the same color scheme I like. The code for the PHPBB Blog that i retooled for the layout throws up errors when trying to get the information from the PHPBB3 version of the forums, instead of the PHPBB2 version. I hoope that only a small amount of retooling has to be done instead of scrapping all that code I worked on and creating the cod myself. Again, it’s probably better for me to experiment a bit more before I come to any conclusions when it comes down to it. This is part of my plans to learn the PHPBB3 template base so that i can be able to create the templates for two or three forums i visit rather infrequently. Also playing around with Joomla 1.5 and running it through a variety of stress tests to see how it responds. So far, I’m really happy on its much easier to use backend as well as a variety of plugins that can help me deploy a concept i have of a multimedia site. However, the lack of current native plugin support has me a bit on edge to actually fully deploy a site with one of these plugins only to have it later abandoned for a newer release. Well, I think I may wait an extra month or two to let these kinks resolve out on their own before i move on to full scale testing and deployment of the multimedia site. I’m also playing around with WordPress. I’ve heard so many great things about it, I had to try it for my own. So far, the CMS looks to be pretty damn good, with a good plugin support. I’ve been thinking about using WP for my portfolio site so I can easily update it and add other widgets to the site with ease of use. By the looks of it, the WordPress engine is perfect for me to use for something like my porfolio site, which needs to be updated less than a regular full scale site. So add a gallery, a couple pages, and pull the blog like features out so it flows more like a porfolio site than a… well, a blog (even though there will be a blog on the site). My latest little toy is one called eyeOS, right now in version 1.5. It’s basically a webOS that can be easily deployed to a private server in order to run lightweight office programs and serve as image repositiory as i’m on the go. IT’s so far been able to work in a couple of different areas without heavy difficulty, bandwitdth aside- no background proccesses to speak of, exempt out of the small times it has to load a program up, like its lightweight word processor. It serves as a great repository for images and documents that I need to use on the go. My only gripe is the lack of a mass uploader on it. Other than that, everything is (as my sister says it) peachy keen.

organizing.

I’m sitting in the computer lab of my college, eager (ha) to start my first week of classes. Most of my friends have all but returned to their respective colleges, and i was probably one of the last to start. I’ve been in a flurry, just continuing the classes i need for my general education courses needed to transfer to other schools. I’ve also started to organize myself a bit better now. I’ve realized that my current system of organziation is woefully lax, and as such, have begun to use my palm pilot a bit more now, as before, i used it as a method to play old school SNES and Genesis games on it (wonderful little emulator called LittleJohn, i think), but with the coming of my mac, i’ve started to sync it more often and keep at least a reasonable schedule on it. I’ve also found myself rather happy with the way i’ve been managing my time and my efforts in the variety of projects i have strewn about. iSync does a wonderful job of connecting itself with the Palm HotSync manager on the Mac, and i can be able to keep my address book now on my mac, my palm pilot, and my cell phone, to boot. Simplicity at its best. Two sites that i’ve found that have helped me along the way is Lifehacker, an amazing blog with little tricks to help manage your time and your basic way of life, and Plaxo, a retarded sounding networking site. Both have their ups and downs that are remarkable to me and have helped me try to get stuff organized for now. I’ll be using Plaxo to sync my calendar with google calendars so i can have that running about as i’m on the go. I’ve been considering getting my own personal site with its own domain name just in case i need to get some… hub site of sorts together.

‘s own hub site is an excellent example of one for comics, but i want one that would combine my personal and professional work in one simple site. I was thinking about making it as a WordPress site, but i don’t want to abandon LJ. I guess I’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of everything I have so far and see if having my own separate blog would be a good idea. I was thinking of creating a unified RSS feed for everything i have so far, using Yahoo’s excellent

Yahoo Pipes, which was used to create the unified Cornstalker Collective feed back in the day. What’s coming out of this, you ask? i have no idea. First off is to learn the new template systems for Joomla 1.5 and for the PHPBB3 forums. From what small glimpses i’ve had so far, it looks like the stuff is relatively easy to use and whatnot, so we’ll have to wait and see on how everything goes.

so the big massive update.

So yeah, i promised myself i would write this entry for the past two weeks now, but i keep forgetting to do so over the amount of work i have piled up on me. I haven’t written in this since december of last year, so i have some shit to talk about… Well, for one, I am currently working on multiple websites. Six, to be exact, and that number is to grow by two or three soon. I’m hoping that I can improve my skills with CSS and conclusively working on design at the same time may help my portfolio, and the planned launch of my own personal site come next month. I’ve been trying to play around with other colors in my scheme, as i’ve found that i’m wayyy too fond of black background sites. The Team Mayhem site, coincidentally, will still be all black, baby. The Joomla 1.5 code finally got out of beta and release canidate status, so it’s all good, baby. I don’t know why i keep saying baby, BUT I AM. I now have a TV in my room, which i have my PS3, DC, and Wii hooked up to, but it distracts me, so i had to leave the PS3 out over at my friend’s house so i wouldn’t be tempted to play it. My bouts of playing Pain as well as Super Puzzle Fighter 2 HD Remix (i blame soap committee for that. crazy white girl…) have slowly turned into addictions i had to get away from if i can actually try and get some work done around here. I’ve also attempted to keep a microsoft free working enviroment- working on mac already is a no brainer, but i’ve been keeping up on the open source community. no MSN messanger, no word, nothing of the sort. i’ll probably write a bit more on that later. oh, and new icon. its an old picture my friend primo did. i’m still as fugly as ever.