February 06, 2003 | Category:

Long Term Gains

When I started making Finetto (the software that runs this site), I didn’t really plan it out very well. The design brief in my head was:

Make a CMS that doesn’t need database to work but allows information to be formatted in many different ways.

The obvious solution is to store content on the filing system in an XML format. This is still what I want to do (and have working fine). However, because of a lack of foresight, I didn’t really think about the potential bottlenecks and scaling problems involved in using the filing system. I just jumped straight into coding.

After a while, I knew that the initial idea would fail whenever I wanted to add new features. So I built a quick add-on system. It basically just loads in a whole bunch of functions and uses them when they’re called. But, again, I didn’t really plan it. And now I’m paying.

I realise now that more structured hierarchial data storage would work much more efficiently (I’ve tested it) and that an add-on model based around events allows more flexibility and hides the code from the end-user to a greater extent.

So, because I didn’t design it well in the first place, I’m having to retrofit huge amounts of code and come up with solutions on the fly. From here on out, I’m planning everything down to the last detail before starting anything. That way there’s no hassle.

On a side note though, the new add-on system and storage system (complete with funky caching) are quite advanced. Well worth the hassle to implement.