GRZ Software Blog

News and tips for MeshCAM

MeshCAM 2012 Update

I was doing some work on the site and I realized that I hadn’t posted any updates for while. Here’s what’s been going on…

Wordpress is Gone

I’ve had a love/hate thing with Wordpress. On one hand, it’s capable of doing almost anything and it’s the blogging standard almost everywhere. On the down side, it’s bad on shared hosting, even with caching plugins, and I never did anything really advanced with it so I never got the full benefit. You also have to worry about security since Wordpress is the target of a lot of hackers.

I could address all of these concerns by going to a better hosting environment and server configuration but hosting websites is not the focus of GRZ is so it would never be worthwhile.

I had been eyeballing Octopress for a while and I finally got it switched over late last night. Octopress is a static site generator so I can write a post and run a command locally to generate the whole site. Now when you view a blog post there is nothing being rendered dynamically on the web server- it just sends down a raw HTML page. This is a huge win for security, speed and backups. And it’s one headache that I don’t have to deal with anymore.

I do need to get the theme more inline with the main site but that’s not a huge priority now.

The Forum is Going… to a New Home

While my experience with Wordpress was mostly-good, my experience with phpBB, the forum software I use, has been mostly-bad. I was looking for competing software to install locally but I’ve come to realize that I’d prefer a hosted solution to get it off of my server. I haven’t found a good solution to export everything from phpBB to a new system so I may just have to save the current forum as a read-only archive and just move to a new empty forum from here.

Right now I’ve been looking at Ning and Vanilla Forums. Ning is looking like the winner right now but I’m open to suggestions.

MeshCAM V5 Continues

There have been a number of V5 updates that have gone out lately that have not been announced here. The big V5 features have not been implemented yet. Unfortunately, they require big UI changes and lots of trial and error. I haven’t had a good idea about how to tackle these in a way that I’d be happy with them.

In the past week or two I’ve had a couple of ideas about how to move forward. Implementing these ideas requires major architectural changes in parts of MeshCAM that I don’t ever touch because they work well. I’ve spent several days cleaning up 8 years of monolithic code into something more modular. I’m not done yet but the progress has been good.

If everything works out as expected then this new setup will enable me to rapidly implement a number of features that I’ve been stuck on for a while. It will also enable a lot of new possibilities.