I started this blog nearly two years ago. In its first incarnation, it was running on the venerable Typo engine, hosted on DreamHost. About a year ago I switched over from Typo to Mephisto, still on DreamHost. Typo was a great start for me, and Mephisto was a good change when Typo was having some issues with the project. (Typo seems to be back on track these days, and has been for a while.) DreamHost was really cheap to get started on with hosting a Rails app, but I outgrew it in a couple months and have just been living in pain and denial ever since.
Now it's nearly two years later, and this is my 100th post on this blog. Coincidentally, it's another big transition for me. As of now this blog is hosted by the awesome force of nature that is EngineYard, and it's running on blog software of my own creation.
If you've used DreamHost to run a Rails app, you'll instantly understand why I wasn't happy there. As the folks at DreamHost have said themselves, Rails sucks on a shared hosting setup, and if you're doing anything more than a toy app, it's not something you want to suffer with. (I should say that in all other ways I've been quite happy with DreamHost, and am going to remain a customer for my non-Rails needs.) My blog has grown and with over 6,000 subscribers it can be a real nightmare when I post a popular article and things start breaking. Now, I'm not crazy enough to pay EngineYard's rates just for my blog (but for a money-making app, I'd be crazy not to). But EngineYard has been good enough to sponsor this blog by providing me a slice to host it on. My experience with them through the setup and transition has been excellent, and I couldn't be happier with the service.
As for the new blog software, I'd say yes, I was a bit crazy to write my own system. But I read Geoffrey Grosenbach's post about the benefits of writing your own blog software, and I realized that's what I wanted to do. I guess I sort of outgrew Mephisto in a kind of retrograde way. Mephisto is a solid piece of software, but it's too big for me, and that makes it hard to modify to do what I want. It's development has also lagged - no new release in over a year! And, I wanted something that ran on Rails 2. Plus, Liquid is exactly the wrong choice for me running my own blog. So I took a month of weekends and random evenings and wrote Teldra. She's just about 500 lines of code (not counting plugins), and does everything I want in a blog, but nothing more. Basically, I wanted a blog that didn't duplicate the things I could already do as a Rails developer. I am perfectly capable of editing a view template, so I don't need a theme system in my blog. I can scp assets to my account, so I don't need an asset manager. It's amazing how many features become irrelevant when you can use your innate developer powers.
Some friends have already asked me if they can use Teldra, and the answer is "yes, eventually." Teldra will probably be open-sourced at some point. She's certainly destined for some significant exposure, as half the reason I wrote her was as grist for a talk I'll be giving later this year. By the way, thanks to Steven Brust for his blessings on using the name.
While Teldra seems ready for prime time, she still has a few rough edges. I expect the feed will refill since I changed the ID schema to conform to the standard (Mephisto is bad about that), and some of the UI looks a bit ragged. But now that I've got a nice platform to build on, those things will get fixed in short order. If you see problems, feel free to leave a comment to let me know. Oh yeah, I've been playing nice and keeping around some redirects to support the old Typo-style URLs for the last year, but I've finally turned that off. If an old URL breaks, there's likely a new one that does what you want. Search works, have fun with it.
Alright, now that all that's out of the way, maybe I can get back to writing all those articles I've been putting off since I couldn't stand my blog dying everytime I posted something new.