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Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"   I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".  
Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.  
Old Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

QA Tech-Tips
Where Do We Go From Here?

Well Hello Again, Everybody!

This blog has come a long, long way since I initially started it here at Blogger.com back in December of 2009,  The 28th of December, 2009, if my dates are correct.  And even further back if you consider the original e-mail based version of QA Tech-Tips that was circulating well before that time.

Since then this blog has begun to attract attention, though the folks at Google have nothing to fear from me.  At least not yet.

QA Tech-Tips is even beginning to get quoted as a source.  Though I am tickled pink when Microsoft TechNet quotes my blog, (or links to one of my articles!); what really makes me happy is when I hear from someone in the QA or technical community telling me that they referenced one of my articles in a bug report!  Booyah!!

While this is gratifying, it is also tremendously humbling to know that readers actually listen, and are interested in what I have to say.  As Voltaire once said, "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility".

Though there may have been changes, (not the least of which is the improvement in my own writing skills!), I have tried to keep true to my original idea for the QA Tech-Tips blog; that is, present useful information about computers and software, as well as the Wild and Wooly things that can happen when you toss a computer and some code into the mix.  Not only present it, but present it in a way that is pertinent and useful down where "The Rubber Meets The Road", instead of some strange hair-ball theories masquerading as facts.

All that being said; both I, and this blog, have begun to outgrow Blogger.

First, there is the BIG issue of editorial control; especially over posted comments since Blogger won't let me edit a comment.

I am often torn between the Devil of throwing out a perfectly good comment because of something I consider inappropriate, or the Deep Blue Sea of allowing inappropriate content in blog replies.  I would greatly prefer to allow replies to stand, (though I might want to snip out the occasional self-serving hyperlink advertising something), instead of having to chuck the whole thing because I cannot edit out a #&%$#*&@!! or two.

Second, is my own desire to grow and improve the QA Tech-Tips experience.

There are things I would like to be able to do that Blogger does not support.  One of the most important improvements that I would like to make is the ability to break up longer posts into multiple pages.  Unfortunately, Blogger does not support multi-page articles in the way that other blogging environments do.

Not to mention a whole host of things that, though not fatal, are intensely annoying.  For example, I have to manually edit the article's underlying HTML code to force an underline on each and every hyperlink.  Doh!

I could go on and on with the things I'd like to see QA Tech-Tips do, that just can't be done here.

Now I want to make perfectly clear that I am eternally indebted to the folks here at Blogger.com, (and Google their parent), for allowing me to have a wonderful - and free! - blog here for years and years.  Were it not for them, it is very likely that the QA Tech-Tips blog would not be here at all today, let alone where it is after all this time.

Likewise, I have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever recommending them to anyone who might want to "get their feet wet" in the Blogosphere without dropping a lot of coin, (or time for that matter), into getting a blog up and running.  They implement a lot of nice features as pre-built widgets - things like user registration, RSS feeds, or Captcha checking - for everyone to use without the pain and grief of having to code it all.

They also take care of the noisy and messy "System Administration" kind of things - like security-hardening my blog - so that I can spend time on my blog's content instead of laying awake nights worrying about getting hacked.

Nonetheless, I am beginning to think that it's high-time to loose the training-wheels and move QA Tech-Tips to the next level.

And to do that I have begun thinking about things like getting my own web host, deciding on what blogging software / platform I should use, along with all the hairy "SysAdmin" kind of things that go Bump In The Night when you strike out on your own.

'Guess I'm gonna be eatin' some Prime Filet of Fingernail while I figure this all out!

What say ye?

Jim (J.R.)

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