The SysOp's Blog
Greetings! I am the "SysOp" of this website, a title bestowed upon those who operated the BBSes of yesteryear. I plan to capture the adventuring and sharing spirit of those dial-up systems within this site and add on a slew of modern conveniences for us digital pioneers.
Within this blog I'll document my trials, adventures and progress in building the site. Actually this will be the first DIY project to be discussed within this site. Unfortunately for the time being its going to be an awfully one-sided discussion.
To that end as soon as I had the machinery in place I started writing blog entries, going back to the beginning and hitting the highlights of my progress. With the software I've written it should be fairly easy to keep updating this as I progress.
Well... it's been a little over two weeks since my last post and I published the new C++CMS based code. I've put every spare hour I could find into it since. I want to have a core system up and running by end of year. I've set the bar awfully high as to what I want completed before I think of it as ready. In brief these are the main things that I've accomplished in the past days:
- Many styling changes, especially with forms.
- Session cookie security was greatly improved, especially with the next item.
- I procured and installed a certificate to encrypt the site for everyone's comfort and protection. It makes the big g00gle happy too.
- Many minor bugs fixed throughout the system.
- Many improvements to my modular application framework, using C++CMS.
- A good start on a core "pages" module with bindings to users.
- Started work and testing on user email communication tools.
Personally I'm very excited about the progress. At the same time I'm always disappointed in the speed in which things are progressing. Still things are beginning to look the way I want under the hood. Like watching a house being built or a remodel in progress the internal work is never very visible. The visible progress usually is a fairly small percentage of total effort.
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As much as I believe the FreePascal compiler has the best combination of features of the languages I've seen, the libraries available for it are limited and usually of poor quality. I finally decided to take a look around and see if there was another language that had higher quality and larger availability of code. I've spent an awful lot of time fixing every FPC library I get involved with and the bugs seem never ending. On top of that there seems to be a prevailing attitude to add more features long before the current ones are fixed.
Law 2 is a butt kicker in software development and when launching a new software system having good foundational software is a huge contributor to how well things will turn out. So I took a look around, decided to jump back into the C++ pool and take some libraries for a test drive.
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Armed with my new template variable and OPF systems I've built a simple module to store and retrieve webpages by URL in a database. Its reminiscent of the Django "flatpages" app. This works pretty good. I have moved the "coming soon" page into the DB using this new module.
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I couldn't go live with all of the previous stuff that makes the blog work until I had two very important things:
- Durable MySQL connections
- EMailed error reports
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A couple of big milestones here. I've known for quite some time that Object Pascal (Delphi, FreePascal, ...) keeps type information for published object properties available for run-time inspection (RTTI). I've just not had the occasion to jump in and check out what's there. But it definitely seemed like what I needed here. So in I dove.
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