Blog Strap Ping

Maybe it is a little late for my Hello World entry at blogstrapping. Such a thing is usually the first entry in a new Weblog, rather than the fifth. Oh, well. Better late than never, I hope.

> ping -c 4
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=52 time=78.644 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=52 time=83.022 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=52 time=74.842 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=52 time=81.643 ms

--- ping statistics ---
4 packets transmitted, 4 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 74.842/79.538/83.022/3.139 ms

When I first conceived of this thing (and registered the domain name) lo these many moons ago, the idea for the name came from "bootstrapping". I think one of my friends suggested the name, or at least helped inspire it -- probably Sterling (edit: I've confirmed that it was indeed Sterling who suggested the name). Regardless of the source, though, the similarity of the name to "bootstrapping" was appropriate to the concept.

The idea was that this would start as two things in one: both a content management system development project and a devlog. I envisioned primarily talking about the CMS, at least at first, and gradually broadening the subject matter until it became a more general purpose development Weblog.

By making the Weblog dependent on the CMS, and working on them both simultaneously, development of the CMS would then be encouraged and driven by the needs of the blogstrapping Weblog itself. That development, in turn, would give me more material to discuss for the Weblog so that it would not be likely to languish for long periods without fresh content.

This all arose in part because I have a fairly strong belief that, all else being equal, we get better quality software when the developers have a very personal stake in the quality of that software. I do not mean just a financial stake for developers selling or supporting their software professionally; I mean the kind of personal stake that comes from having to use the software.

Taken to its logical extreme, this means that software is more likely to be high quality if the developer has to use it while creating it from scratch. I am my own guinea pig in this, developing a CMS while using it even though the CMS itself is not yet anywhere near what I would call complete (though more substantially complete already than I would have guessed I would accomplish in less than a week when I first conceived of the idea).

Of course, it has occurred to me that "blogstrapping" sounds like a BDSM term, and I have had that pointed out to me by a friend. Just overlook that for me, and try to stay on-target while reading this. It is more about software development quality being improved through the process of bootstrapping it into existence, where using the software serves as the bootstraps for developing it -- or, conversely, bootstrapping the use of the software into existence with development serving as the bootstraps for using it.

There it is. Welcome to blogstrapping.