Early in the New Year, I learnt that the software which had
formed the basis for building Arborealis since
June, 2014 was no longer supported. This went a long way to
explaining why, for several months at least, merely inputting
several phrases or switching windows between that software and
other programs or webpages brought on the dreaded spinning
colour wheel. In the computerscape that is the Mac OS, generally
this wheel signifies that your system cannot handle the demands
placed upon it by a myriad of tasks, all demanding diva/divo
Initially, the question then was, which new, bigger computer
–both in terms of RAM and storage– was needed to solve the
problem? The day, not to mention my bank account, was saved by
finding out that the software itself was shedding its
functionality by degrees.
Thereafter commenced a frantic search for a replacement web design package or platform. My search ran the gamut, including:
After deciding that the Immensely Prominent International Platform was out of the running, my analysis of the Popular Off-the-Shelf Product was proceeding merrily apace until suddenly, it wasn't. The sensation was exactly akin to pulling the emergency brake, and jolting to the proverbial screeching halt. In that moment, I had just realized that buying another canned software package might well land me in a situation very like that in which I find myself today. The owners might revamp the product and price it out of reach, cut it from their product line altogether, or sell the company to a third party with plans to capitalize on brand recognition but with no real intent to support the existing, loyal customer base. In any of these scenarios, the website having been held welded to the company's unibody framework, I would be faced with the same redesign decision all over again.
Slamming the hood on that level of programming code complexity inspired the analogy of today's computerized "black box" cars (only your mechanic knows for sure) with yesteryear's strictly mechanical automobiles—the ones we could change the oil, swap out a distributor cap, or tinker with the timing ourselves. Here, then is the result, or at least Version 1.0 of the 2020 model of Arborealis, composed in a humble, open source html editor with one css stylesheet. Undoubtedly, at least several tune-ups are in the offing to make the code work as hoped.
While a slow-burn-crash, reassess-and-rebuild was not how I'd planned to spend the past ten days, this turning point also presented an opportunity to consider and reorder my research priorites—a subject for another day and at least one or two blog articles!
Begging our readers' patience while the several hundred pages from the old site are tuned up and added to this one, I will close with warm greetings to all for the New Year.
(penned 12th January 2020.)
Kilpatrick, Alison. "Column shift, Inline-six." Blog article
published to Arborealis, 13th
January 2020; online at www.arborealis.ca/blog/2020-01-12.html;
accessed [insert date of access].
— Please refer to the Research Etiquette section for information about copyright, source citations, and permissions.