April 14th, 2003


Are you listening, Yahoo!?

Ever since a good friend of mine registered his domain name, signed up for hosting with SimpleNet and got me to do the web design - back in 1996 - I've been working with the endless joy that is MivaScript (née HTMLScript).

This XML-based server-side language has been the bane of my life for seven years. It's a perfectly functional language, which lets me create database-driven apps which work flawlessly on the web; problem is, it's just too damn verbose a language to make coding any fun.

My latest project, started last week, is to design and implement a database to catalogue a radio station's music collection. It has separate databases for titles, formats, genres, labels and users, and the database cross-links between 'em -storing a format's ID number in the title database instead of the text value, etc.

The aim is to finish this before the next committee meeting, so the music team can start plugging in data before the next broadcast starts. Currently most of the new music is sitting idle in the Heads of Music's flats instead of the studio, a habit I think they picked up from their slightly incompetent predecessor.

In return for design help I have full access to the aforementioned web space, so I have detailed knowledge of changes behind the scenes. A couple of years ago, SimpleNet sold off all their shared hosting customers to Yahoo! Website Services, and since then the service has hardly changed at all.

On one hand this is a good thing, as I think we continue to take advantage of the supposedly unlimited web space and bandwidth that SimpleNet originally guaranteed; however, Yahoo! hasn't added any other services to the package except for unlimited e-mail redirects, which is nice but pales in comparison to the PHP+MySQL support they offer new customers.

I wouldn't mind ditching MivaScript in favour of PHP, but sadly I currently don't have the means or time to learn PHP from scratch. I tried applying to a hostmom and fellow LJ user (two friend hops away) for hosting, but I was rejected, probably because I put too much effort into the application.

I could configure my local copy of Apache (bundled with OS X, isn't it sweet?) to handle it, but that takes work. I did it once, but lost all the settings when I updated OS X. Hell, even if Miva Corp ported Miva Mia, their consumer-oriented personal pre-processor, to OS X, I'd be much happier than I am uploading my scripts each time I change them.

Regardless, it looks as if I'm in for an all-nighter, debugging and fine-tuning this thing. Wish me luck.