About the Site
This page is for people interested in how I made this site or what software is behind it. I appreciate that the number of people in this category is very low. But when I was trying to work out how to make web sites, I found pages like this to be very helpful. So here we are.
The best way to make your own web site is to find things you like on other sites and rip them off. Their techniques, I mean. Not their content. Because that would just be wrong. But stealing techniques is fine; in fact, it's practically noble. The open source software movement is largely dedicated to providing you with free software, and you should take them up on it.
Linux is like Windows, only cheaper, more powerful, and not evil. It's worth becoming familiar with Linux if you want to fool around with web servers or have credibility. It comes in various types ("distributions"), including Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Fedora, and you can install it on your PC alongside Windows.
Blosxom is a Perl script that lets you get up and blogging quickly and painlessly. (A popular alternative to Blosxom is Movable Type.) Blosxom is highly extendible using plugins. My site uses the following plugins: Amputator, archives, autopreview, seemore, and SmartyPants. I also wrote some custom plugins to provide category icons, the sidebar menu, and a few other bits and pieces.
MySQL is a fast, solid database. Initially I resisted learning about databases because they seemed complicated, but luckily I gave in. If you want to store and manipulate data, use one.
Apache is the world's most popular web server. When you're designing a complex site, it's really handy to have Apache running on your PC so you can develop and test locally.
XHTML 1.0 is a "reformulation" of HTML, designed to support the next generation of browsing devices (such as mobile phones and PDAs). If you're creating web pages, it's important to comply with W3 standards and not just rely on what looks right in your own browser. Fortunately there are handy online validators to help you get it right.