Getting back to the code

As I'm coding, he comes up behind me, wraps his arms around me and says, "You do such neat things." After the past 24 hours, I think that was exactly what I needed to hear.

For several months now I've been toying with the idea of making skinnable. To skin it with the required amount of flexibility was going to require more effort than what originally went into the skinning of—about an order of magnitude, actually.I haven't really wanted to do it. I hate saying that, but it's the truth. I knew firsthand what kind of work it would take to make the site skinnable, and having recently finished up domesticat, I wasn't terribly keen on going through all that again.

Jeff was right, though, and I knew it. There were some users who weren't happy because of the (fairly) simple tables-based layout that g-c had, but there were users who weren't happy because even that simple layout didn't display well under older versions of Netscape.

There wasn't a way to make everyone happy unless the site was skinned. So I put the misgivings aside and started working out a schematic for skinning the site. I figured out how many templates were needed, and what kind of variables I'd need to pull from greymatter.

It was difficult and obfuscated, but I could make it work. About a month ago I went through and started cleaning up the code over at g-c, to help ease the transition into a multi-skinned site. This week, with the move to the new server complete, I decided it was time to swallow my pride and just get to work.

Truth be told, I haven't had much sleep since that decision. I've stayed up until hours I don't want to acknowledge, fitting the pieces together. Today was mostly cleanup work—making the HTML and templates work together in the way I intended. I'd say that right now it's about 90% complete, with the exception of files in a particular folder that I've not worked on yet.

I keep waiting for the sense of pride and purpose to come to me. Maybe I'm still too tired. Maybe I won't feel it until I can freely swap skins back and forth; I don't know. At this point I'm heartily sick of the process, and would more than anything like to just take the damn code and chunk it out the nearest window.

(But Edmund is standing between me and the window, and I have quite a few friends who are going to kill me if I stop after getting this far with the code.)

Some of the frustration comes from knowing that as soon as I'm done getting the skin code up, I need to turn around and figure out how to churn out a particular PHP script that I'm pretty sure is beyond my mastery of the language.

Too many hours staring at this code, I think. I probably should just give up on it for the night and resume tomorrow—but I know my workaholic tendencies, and I know that I'll probably stay up tonight until that last ten percent is finished.

Until it does, I think that I probably won't have too much to say here. After spending hours making code work right, sometimes the last thing you want to face is more time in front of a computer screen.

With that stated, I think it's time to get back to the code.

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