DelphiDabbler.com is 20 yrs old!

Can't believe it. DelphiDabbler.com is 20 years old.

Looking back in my archives reveals that the first website carrying the http://www.delphidabbler.com URL was unveiled on 27th October 2002 2022. And the page above agrees.

So I thought I'd document a little of its history before I forget it. More for my benefit than yours!!

Here's the home page of the first version of delphidabbler.com:

As you may be able to see from this page, the site wasn't wasn't entirely new. It was just the domain name was new. I'd previously being using the PJSoft moniker and publishing a site at http://www.pjsoft.contactbox.co.uk. That site had been around since 24 July 1999 on a Tesco owned hosting service (I think!) before moving to ContactBox on 20th February 2000. Both those hosts were free and are long gone. The site was static.

Here's the front page of the last update of the old PJSoft site:

It was when I discovered that there was already someone trading as PJSoft that I decided I should rename the site. Since traffic was growing it seemed a good time to invest in a domain name and commercial hosting. I was hoping that advertising revenue would meet the costs, and for a good few years it did. The new host was Ghoulnet.

I settled on delphidabbler.com, because I program in Delphi, but I'm an amateur and merely dabble at programming.

The change to a more professional setup also enabled me to gradually change from a static site to a more dynamic one that was programmed in PHP. There was as yet no backend end database because my cheapo hosting plan didn't support MySQL!

The first main refresh came in February 2003 with a tweak to the design:

At some unknown later date the logo changed to:

In April 2006, the hosting changed to the Delphi Magazine's TDMWeb, which brought with it the long awaited database functionality. The site kept its styling until March 2009, when it received another refresh that pretty much lasted through to 2021. Here's how it appeared in May 2012:

On 11 April 2011 the site once again changed hosts to Pixel Internet, mainly because of a large price hike at TDMWeb. Pixel Internet continued to host the site until June 2020.

I flirted with closing the site in October 2015, but was persuaded to keep it going. But by May 2019 it really did seem that time was up. Advertising income had all but dried up and I was becoming less and less willing to continue to finance the site. In January 2020 I'd pretty much decided to pull the plug but to preserve as much of the content as I could. Hence this sorry notice appeared on the site:

Just as I'd decided to move the site to GitHub Pages, and converted the content into a static site, the cavalry came to the rescue in the guise of Jim McKeeth of Embarcadero and Zach Briggs. Jim arranged for Zach to host the site gratis through his CreoHosting  company. It was then I received the honour of becoming an Embarcadero MVP. Thanks to the last minute reprieve that sorry noticed got changed to:

Because of all the work I'd done getting the site ready for GitHub Pages, I simply regenerated the site using Jekyll and uploaded it to the new host. The new site launched on 9th June 2020 in its shiny new style, courtesy of Bootstrap. Here's how it looks today, which is little different to how it was re-launched:

One final threat to the site was when CreoHosting started glitching and I lost access to FTP on the site. I couldn't resolve the problems so I quickly changed the name servers to point at the version of the site on GitHub (delphidabbler/delphidabbler.github.io), which is where it lives until now.

"Micro Sites"

Over the years there have been a few "micro-sites" on various sub domains. For a while, CodeSnip had its own little site on codesnip.delphidabbler.com, but that's gone now:


There was a tips subdomain on the PixelInternet server that went away when the site moved. But it is now back on GitHub pages at its old tips.delphidabbler.com URL.

For a few years there were a couple of JavaScript web apps for the SWAG and Code Snippets database, but they were closed when the site moved to GitHub and lost the required database back ends.

Earlier this year a couple more mini sites appeared:

And that brings us up to date. I'm not promising another twenty years, but let's see how long delphidabbler.com can last.

Comments

  1. Anonymous11:53 am

    "was unveiled on 27th October 2022" meaning 2002... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops. Wouldn't have made that mistake when I was 20 yes younger!

      Delete

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