Sunday, October 13, 2013

Developing "Web Sites" In a New Way

Leveraging the Cloud 

I started making web sites around 1995.  In the last year I have started moving away from the client-server model to a cloud and api driven service model for new projects. While I still maintain my own Linux servers, with customized content management systems (CMS) on them, I find that managing the legacy infrastructure takes too much time away from new idea development itself.

For example, I am using cloud databases instead of my own mySQL database server.  I am also using cloud services for mail delivery, payment processing, and even CMS content creation.  Thanks to an insane number of REST apis available today, I can get more done without getting bogged down installing Linux libraries, system upgrades, and wrestling a restrictive CMS system.

Incidentally, some of my favorite apis right now are SendGrid, Stripe, Osmek.

Mobile First

I have been doing all new projects with mobile in mind.  I make new apps and with the phone screen size in mind, and then test and adjust for tablets, and desktops.

I am targeting the widest possible operating system and browser compatibility by developing with HTML5 and serving app directly to iOS, Android, and desktops via the modern web browser.

By avoiding the app stores and the associated programming languages required for each platform, I expect to reach more people and avoid the limitations imposed by the various stores such as Google Play and Apple iTunes.

Now I am spending much of my time thinking about HTML5 and related browser compatibility issues.  In the past, I have spent more time with python, but I now find myself using javascript, jQuery Mobile, and css3.  This mix allows me to make apps more finely tuned for exactly what I want to achieve, without the overhead of a bloated CMS driven site.