Minimalist is the new white

It's said that design's all about whitespace, but even I'm willing to admit I might have gone a bit far here. So, why exactly has this site gone quite so minimal?

Well... a quick look in the archive will show that I've not posted in a long time. This site has been operating on extremely old code for a long time, with no working admin interface, and I've been wanting to do a complete rewrite of the codebase to get things working again. Finally I've found some time to do so; I've left my previous client after renewing the contract about 8 times, and taken this chance to sit down and Code Things Right. The site's had too many piecemeal fixes, with legacy code lingering for up to 10 years, and I've refused to do any more partial repairs.

(As as aside... the sitting down thing isn't entirely voluntary. I wanted to start running more seriously in my time off, but managed to come down with shin splints within 3 days of the contract ending, so I am slightly more immune to that particular distraction than I'd like to be.)

But anyway... what do I mean by "coding things right"? I mean coding to the same standards on my own projects as I prefer to work to for my clients. It means code that's clean, tested, documented, passes FIG PSR standards, uses quality third-party libraries, installs via composer and that I wouldn't mind releasing as Open Source for the world to see. And it also means, if it's going to be useful to anyone else, that it needs to work on "white label" templates before I put my site's own styling on it. (For what it's worth, the old site styling *will* return - it may not scream "modernity" but I'm still fond of it).

The new project is based on the Silex micro-framework, as that lets me create a basic framework for all sorts of sites, and plays very nicely indeed with a lot of Symfony, Sensio and other third-party code, saving me no end of work. The templating layer is Twig, and it will surprise essentially no-one that the styling and layout are based on Bootstrap 3. As yet the code is quite crude; some of these tools are comparatively new to me and so the project's getting refactored as it's developed. But I'm deliberately dogfooding and releasing the code at a very early stage to encourage me to keep thinking about and developing it. And yes, I do mean "releasing"; the code's available to clone or download from BitBucket under a MIT licence, but with one key caveat: the code in that repo should be in at least 3 modules rather than just one, and I reserve the right to refactor and break things on a regular basis for the moment. Some idea of what I'm planning to do with it can be found in the TODO file.

More on the project as I develop it... in the meantime, catch me on Twitter, or occasionally on Medium or Quora.
Posted by parsingphase, 2014-09-12 16:00

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