Mini-tutorial: 'I've got this little site...'

While I'm working on finishing up Quarto's admin interface, I thought I'd toss out this unfinished little mini-tutorial and let the world throw some commentary its way.

For lack of a real title, I've called it "I've Got This Little Site…"—it's supposed to be geared toward the casual website creator who is thinking about putting a bit more effort into their site. It's four pages of snips and tidbits and things I've learned along the way.

It feels awfully, awfully basic to me; that bothers me, but my experience with people who are thinking about skinning their sites indicates that there is probably a need for a tutorial at that level.

Most of the complaints about the skinning tutorial have to do with all the work you have to do to get your site ready for skinning. I've been pretty stalwart in my refusal to apologize for that portion of the tutorial; my de facto statement is, "If you can't see why this is necessary, then you have absolutely no business skinning your site."

So, to combat things a bit, I thought I'd write up some quasi-helpful advice for people who were thinking of skinning their site. I've never gotten around to polishing the tutorial, and the previous/next page links are perfunctory at best, but it's online.

Find it here: I've Got This Little Site…

Meanwhile, work on Quarto continues. Aren't you sick of hearing that yet? You should be. The admin interface is mostly done—I lack one small page (registration for commenters) and one big page (selecting an entry to edit). Once the admin interface is finished, it's back into the code, to add in a few secondary functions (the routines for various email notifications come to mind) and general tightening-down of variables for security purposes.

Once that's done, I'll start writing the display functions. Part of the premise behind writing Quarto in the way I've chosen is that display functions will be completely separate from the admin interface. I don't know if anyone else has done a CMS that way, and at this stage in the game I'm not running out to do the research.

I just like the idea of having the admin interface be solely for interacting with the database, and having a buffet of display functions, of which the user can choose which they want.

It's going to be interesting, implementing this. I know that I've got to get a move on and get as much of this written as quickly as possible. I want to have everything ready to roll before dragon*con (Labor Day), and between now and then I will have three separate sets of guests staying with me.

Call me picky, but these are people I want to spend time with. Sitting in front of a computer and coding while they visit with me simply doesn't count.

Oh, those silly priorities…

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what a great little tutorial. i know that my site has been so much more organized and fun since i worked through the skinning tutorial. i definitely think this will help lots of people! :)

I have to praise Astra Site Manager here a bit myself. I'm still learning how to fully use it, but it's so handy that I can hardly stand it!

This is a wonderful tutorial, and I'd love to use it for my students... but what's the best way to credit you beyond "Amy" -- I must confess that I don't know your last name!