Screen shot of old version of website

Oh, look. Another website.

(Extremely Carl Sagan voice)

Since the dawn of the cosmos, there have been three Danno’s Rocket Blogs.

The first one was entirely hand-written HTML and PHP. Not “created by Notepad” (I’m not a monster), but with the exception of a free CSS I found somewhere, every line of it was typed while muttering “I’ll never use a web design tool, it can’t possibly put all of these <br /> tags in exactly the right place.” And in my defense, that attitude was born out of the fact that there were some pretty terrible web design tools back in dinosaur times.

I’ve gotten lazier since then. But those pages still live here.

Updates to the old site became fewer and further between, because a) I knew no one was reading it, and b) I was tired of manually cutting-and-pasting the same <table> tag over and over to put in my flight data. However, at some point I did actually put something useful on that site – a tutorial I wrote on how to use DashWare to put aircraft-style altitude and airspeed gauges on flight videos. That inspired me to put up the second site, based on DokuWiki. I had grand delusions of making that into a community resource, a font from which rocketeers worldwide could drink of my wisdom.

As it turns out, I don’t actually have enough wisdom to fill an entire font. And I learned fairly quickly that farting around in wiki markup is almost as tedious as farting around writing PHP in Atom. The wiki now lives here, and I’m going to figure out some way to integrate it with this site – I just don’t know yet exactly how.

That brings us…to WordPress.

I was, for several years, the secretary and de-facto web lackey of St. Louis Rocketry Association, and inherited its WordPress-based website from the previous secretary. I took an instant dislike to WordPress – it was slow (still pretty true, at least on my web host) and cumbersome to use (less so now than it was then, but eh). I resolved to replace it with “something better” as soon as I found the time.

As you might guess, I never found the time, I never thought of a better way to do it, and that site is still on WordPress. As much as the internet hipster in me wants to think of WordPress as the McDonald’s of content management, it’s good for what it does as long as you don’t mind molding your content into something basically blog-like. So for the foreseeable future, this site is going to be some combination of WordPress (for blog-like content like launch reports) and DokuWiki (for longer-lasting content like tutorials and references). I also have some rocketry-related stuff on GitHub.

Having said that – this is 2020, and I’ve flown zero rockets in the last six months. I’ve been building, and I’ll have some stuff here about that, but it may still be a while before I have a new launch report to share.

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