Building a .com in 24 Hours

Be ye forewarned: the articles I’m linking to here contain a small amount of profanity. I figure one or two of you might be put off by that, and the rest of you will be put off because it isn’t a large amount of profanity. Which means everybody just stopped reading; the rest of this post is mostly for my benefit.

I ran across a really good article on called Building a .com in 24 hours. Basically it describes, from inception to live, building a modern web site in 24 hours over the course of 4 days. It covers design, graphics, subversion, programming (Rails), styling, a site API, domain and domain email, hosting, and statistics and search engine optimization. It’s very well written and is a great look at how dynamic languages, frameworks, and modern tools and services make designing and deploying web applications so much faster than it used to be. I’m not suggesting everybody can do this - the author is obviously very talented, and GIS functionality definitely adds its own wrinkle - but it’s a good insight in to the thought processes and decision making involved in modern web site design.

One thing it mentions is, a VPS hosting solution that uses Xen virtualization to slice off a virtual machine with a set amount of memory, storage, and data throughput. You basically tell it to put one of a variety of Linux distros on your slice, and you can then install any darn thing you want on it - databases, web servers, FTP servers, GIS software, etc. You can remote log in as root and basically do anything you can do with a local linux server. If you need to run Linux or run some open source software and the local IT warlords are scoffing at you from their Microsoft towers, if you can find $20 a month in your budget you can put it on

*If you have read this far and feel like you didn’t get your quotient of swear words for the day, check out IBM Poopheads say LAMP Users Need to Grow Up. It’s a rant on something an IBM geek wrote, but it makes a lot of salient points. While I share some disagreements with some of the commenters on the caching piece, the physical three-tiered stuff is pure gold.

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