An anonymous reader writes: First a few admissions, (first) I do not consider myself to be a top tier coder (second) This is my first stint as a web master/coder and (third) This is one of my first few times having root rights on a remote server. Hence, my questions may be naively based.
It is becoming my sense after trying to use two different blogging systems that one may be buying into a lock-in or extra inertia by adopting one system developer's templates to run your site. My guess is the template systems are unique to each brand. Indeed, in one case just viewing the code and documentation warning the closing tabs were absent induced migraine like head throbs. Nonetheless, I have been shown examples where site templates were used to create a customized, attractive and seemingly effective sites. So some have found template systems to be effective labor saving devices. Yet the code and calls for these sites were very difficult for me to understand.
That leads to another issue: I am finding the viewed code for sites becoming ever more difficult to understand. My suspicion here is that this is caused by web site painting tools and the templating systems. It seemed to me that less than a year ago the code was more transparent. Am I mistaken?
Recently I was asked if I would take over the maintenance of a site, because it had become too onerous a task for the person performing those duties. To that person's defense it was a site with a high percentage of image data and the pages were pleasing to view. Looking at the code, I tried to see how I could add missing content with minimal disturbance. It became obvious that route would not work. I viewed the code directly as text and then visually seeing an overly embedded html table structures. What made it even worse was there was no css file only in-line style directives that added to the difficulty of interpreting the code. While I cannot state with absolute certainty, I believe this person thought that any changes required a complete repainting of the pages with the desired changes. Only afterward could the new pages be generated. This could be a case of an individual knew little more than how to run a single application. That is precisely the reason I do not wish to rely too much on templates. If they have a gap or a flaw I too could be left without an alternative.
It might be that I have the need to understand precisely what I am creating, that fuels my distrust of tools. I find it easier to hand write my site's pages where the layout is placed in logical order (for me) to generate the display I am seeking. In the last year I have noticed that viewing the code (as mentioned above) has become harder to understand how the actual page was generated. Is this part of a trend to reveal less to others seeking to learn from the experiences of others or is this simply the complex code generated by both web site painters and templates?
I worry that in some sense when the site is further along I will be re-inventing the wheel, figuratively, by having to write scripts to store older articles in an archive database. To some that would be scary per se, but databases were my specialty it's the damn scripts I don't look forward to writing. This might be a failing of free source code where too little is reused by interested parties. Hence, if that is my error, where would I find the scripts?
Thanks in advance to any constructive, knowledgeable responses.