Almost a year ago now, I decided to take the blog portion of Filler00 down to rethink my goals for the project. In order to facilitate those goals, I decided to move it off of WordPress. WordPress is an extremely powerful and flexible platform, and it's hard to ignore it when so many people and websites that I admire swear by it. However, after working with it extensively in an attempt to wrangle it into something resembling my vision for Filler00, I've concluded that it's only really useful as a blogging platform. Even then, there are other blogging platforms now that (in my opinion) do a better job if your intent is to use it purely for blogging. And for anything beyond blogging, I felt that it got in my way more than it helped.
I'm a developer, and I so craved something that would give me the same fexibility that I'm accustomed to when I work on a project from scratch. This is where WordPress failed for me - it didn't accomodate my workflow or my existing knowledge in PHP, and so in order to do what I wanted I'd have to read through endless walls of text in their docs, OR find a plugin that looks at least halfway decent, and subsequently cross my fingers and hope that it wouldn't explode WordPress into an even bigger security nightmare than it already is.
Enter October CMS (and Flarum, eventually)
October CMS is built on the solid and beautiful Laravel framework, and it's shipped with only essential features which are a breeze to extend. I haven't had to learn much to really get started with it, and I also don't feel like I'm having to "hack" the system to add custom content. I'm really excited to have found it and to (finally) be at a point where I can start building out features for Filler00 while feeling confident in its foundations. ♥
Besides just being a great platform for my vision for Filler00, I also really believe that this would be great as a CMS for building and managing oTCGs. I'm actually tempted to build a TCG with it, just because it seems so easy to do. (But I must resist - MissingNO is my priority TCG project, and I've determined that I wont be using a CMS for that)
Another change that happened was the migration from phpBB to esoTalk. I already went into detail about this decision on the forums, but I want to expand on it since esoTalk's situation has now changed (for the better!). Toby, esoTalk's developer, is really pushing the development of its successor, Flarum. In addition, the developer of another great forum project called FluxBB (which would have been my alternative to esoTalk) is joining the effort! It all looks pretty magical and amazing, and there has been some substatial progress over the past several months, so I'm holding off on creating forum integrations with October until Flarum is available. This means no user login or comments on the blog for now, saddly - but rest assured, they will return, and it'll all be super snappy! :-D
Goals for Filler00
I scrapped a lot of my plans for Filler00 after the initial run on WordPress and assessing the needs of the oTCG community and my ability to maintain certain features. There are already so many resource sites, exchanges, directories, forum communities, etc. and the last thing I want to do is create yet another site offering the same old things. So, my focus with Filler00 has shifted a bit - since my speciality is in development, I want to use Filler00 as a means to provide content, resources, and support geared towards the more technical aspects of oTCG development. I perceive a lot of room for improvement and innovation in many of the things we do that have become the "norm", and a large part of that is just lack of technical skills and relevant resources. Hopefully we can change that here! :)
We're alive! Stay tuned as we resume blog activities and continue to build out neat new features and tools.