I reserved WordWalkingStick.com to have a domain available for a hosting plan with Internet Information Server (IIS). WordWalkingStick.com sounds like some kind of commercial play for my open source project on CodePlex.com for Microsoft Office Word. But, as of today, consider the similar names a ‘coincidence.’
Instead of having a personally useless “code gallery,” my Songhay Studio Server at WordWalkingStick.com is built to be a part of my active, work-week-daily workflow. Whenever I learn something new about Silverlight, WPF or ASP.NET MVC, it should show up on the Studio Server. This Studio Server concept is a self-educational tool (beyond my relatively passive Funky KB at SonghaySystem.com) that often serves as a co-worker educational tool.
This Studio Server concept, by the way, is direct descendant from my intranet-based ‘Development Server’ concept that I’ve used in the workplace since the early 2000s. I thought it was cool to take a slice out of my Desktop and point it at this ‘Development Server.’ The rise of the SharePoint “My Site” makes this work habit largely obsolete in the average Microsoft-based enterprise.
I have avoided Microsoft-based hosting on the public internet for years because Microsoft technology simply was not designed for the “shared” hosting model. Phil Haack led the way here and I followed him into a deal with Newtek Web Hosting.
As of this writing, the Songhay Studio Server contains:
Active Web Designs—page layouts for the few web sites I maintain.
Live Samples—CSS, jQuery and Silverlight samples online; I use these to keep current—so studying these carefully covers my current skill set.
Hosted Source Code—active CodePlex.com projects and legacy SourceForge.net projects (in Java).
Utilities—stuff for me, dating back to my Intranet days.
So, after I showed Scott Hanselman my Silverlight BiggestBox live sample, he politely asked for something more interesting. In reply to his prompt reply, I told him (I think this came across—because Twitter is terse) that he was looking at a blank canvas. In the specific Silverlight case, I had to spend quite some time getting the plumbing to work to my satisfaction. The problem is that most people can’t see the plumbing—often I lose myself in the plumbing!
This new Songhay Studio Server allows me to see an IT executive summary of what the hell is going on! I can look at the home page and click though the index and see:
Coming soon will be my Adobe Flex-based BiggestBox! Ideally I’ll have Silverlight and Flex parity. This new tool called Tofino allows me to work on Flex in Visual Studio, which is currently very convenient for me.
So, am I spread too thin? Am I “over preparing” and getting “lost” in the technology? What this new Songhay Studio Server does for me is allow me to consolidate, summarize and simplify. The work of the last two years finally comes to the surface.