I've been trying to work out how long there has been a Friends of Charles Darwin website. I'm pretty sure its first incarnation (on a different website) came shortly after we first wrote to the Bank of England about having Charles Darwin celebrated on a bank note. So that would have been 1994. I hand-coded the site in raw HTML, there being no other options available to me at the time.
Over the years, as seems only appropriate, the site has evolved. First there came cascading style sheets (CSS), then a migration to a dedicated domain name and a change to a new hosting provider, then conversion to PHP (again running my own home-baked content management system). Unfortunately, the website hosting provider did not keep up with changes in technology, so it was not possible for me to convert the site to a proper content management system. So I changed hosting provider again.
I was now in a position to migrate the site to a proper content management system, but, unfortunately, my home-grown site had become pretty big, with blog pages, an enrolment form, and documents and stuff. Migrating would mean an awful lot of work.
I finally grasped the nettle a few years back and converted the blog to WordPress, but converting the rest of the site was just too much work. Until maintaining two different content management systems became unbearable, that is. Finally, late yesterday afternoon, after an awful lot of work, I clicked ‘upload’, and the whole site was at long last converted to WordPress.
The site now has a far more intelligent design. I hope this means I should be able to post more updates in future.
Some of my kludgey old computer code is still there, doing sterling work behind the scenes. I was surprised at just how messy some of it was. I'm pretty sure there are whole chunks of it which never get used, but I didn't like to remove them, just in case: junk DNA. As ever, it is the imperfections in an apparently intelligent design that are the best proof that evolution has taken place.
A few notes about the changes:
- The blog has moved to its own dedicated section within the main site: http://friendsofdarwin.com/blog/ So, if you link to the blog from your own website, you might want to update the link (although the old link, plus any links to individual blog posts should be forwarded automatically);
- the blog's RSS feed has also moved, although the old one should still also work. The new feed is at: http://friendsofdarwin.com/feed/
- I have dropped the name The Red Notebook as the name of the blog. This was partly because it was too difficult to keep it, and partly because I think it was causing confusion. From not on, I shall refer to it simply as The Friends of Charles Darwin blog;
- I have removed a couple of features from the site (mainly stuff in the sidebar), but I hope to re-incorporate most of them eventually (after I have rewritten some of my code);
- all the old blog posts are Uncategorised, although they do have tags. I am hoping to perform some rationalising taxonomic reclassification eventually, whenever I fancy another huge challenge.
Anyway, enough of boring technicalities!