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Unshelved comic strip for 5/25/2007

The Server Upgrade

Executive summary: site may be inaccessible for a little while. Be patient.

This site has been running largely unchanged for several years now. That's a good thing - it's incredibly reliable - but we have lots of improvements to make and the platform, Microsoft ASP.NET 1.1, is showing its age.

For over a year I've been procrastinating making the upgrade to ASP.NET 2.0 because I was toying with moving over to that hippest and trendiest of server stacks, Ruby on Rails. I even went so far as to code up a prototype version. I found that it was lightning fast to get the first 80% of the site, but that last 20% was incredibly hard. That's largely because I don't know thing one about Linux. So I waited, either for a Linux master to offer his or her services for free, or for Microsoft to improve their platform enough to be competitive.

Well the latter came first. Microsoft announced upcoming support for Ruby (my favorite part of Ruby on Rails), dynamic data, and they're about to ship LINQ, which is intense database coolness. Bottom line, I have regained faith in the future of ASP.NET as a platform. And since I'm already deeply familiar with it, and with SQL Server, I decided to make the conservative choice and stick with what's working. I reserve the right to change my mind in a year.

Anyway, I have just consumed two shots of espresso with the expectation that I'll be up late tonight moving our site to the new server. Inevitably things will not go perfectly. And even if they do, some things (like the Internet's naming service) take time to do their thing. So some fraction of you may have trouble seeing the site for a few days. My apologies. We'll be back as soon as possible.

And when we are back things will start moving (relatively) quickly. We have some changes planned that we are very excited about. But first things first.

Update: Well I spent a few hours on this and the truth is I'm not quite ready. I don't want to have major downtime, and I really really don't want to leave a landscape of broken links. So I'm going to put this off for a few nights and try again when I'm better rested. Enjoy the old technology for a little while longer!

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