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THE PHP-MAN COMETH

16 October 2004

It just goes to show how unpredictable the cosmos is. Last week I was perfectly content with the little HTML-driven site that I had. Then someone came along and said I wasn't happy with this, and before I knew it, I found untold riches in the land of PHP. It took me a week of doodling along before I got it right, but when I did get it right, I got in a state of total empowerment.

It's strange that there's already this much progress in this thing, because normally I'm both a technophobe and rather conservative when it comes to stuff like this. I knew of course that there were some benefits to PHP, but hey; HTML was powering the site just fine, everything worked, and I knew exactly how the engine was put together. The thought of all these weird incomprehensible scripts invading my code was blasphemous, at the very least. But there you go: as we speak, my code is permeated by programming I know nothing about. But it works. And damn fine at that.

Now if we've done our job right, you will notice next to nothing about this. You may see that the site fits together a bit more nicely, discern that there's now a beautiful PHP-extension tailing the pages' names, but other than that it's almost like the same old thing. But the truth is that this enterprise has just gotten about twenty times more advanced
than before. HTML may have worked just fine in these stages of the webcomic, but in a year from now it would have been a catastrophy to manage, with hundreds of archived pages. So you understand why I'm glad this thing happened.

And it opened my mind to another thought. You see, sometimes things happen that you just don't have any say in. If it weren't for Stevan's resoluteness in his approach to dragging me into this, I likely would have found arguments to persuade both myself and him to leave it status quo. But in this case, I didn't really have a say in the matter: he came at me with such spirit and determination that I found myself cutting up the site forthwith. And how I have grown through this. Not only has the site progressed to an extent I never thought I'd see, but also I myself have advanced through this. I shan't claim to have mastered PHP, but I have an understanding of it now, and a feeling that I can control it, use it to my advantage. Would it have happened -ever- if I hadn't been coerced into doing so?

The point here being, my friends, that this is pure serendipity. Sometimes things, good things, just happen to you, or rather; force you to make things happen to you. Ascending you to a higher platform, one you'd never have reached on your own. In this case: by someone I had never even met, but only vaguely knew on some fora.
It's serendipity. Life would be so much less colourful without it.

Roderick.