AnandTech: A Brief History of Timeby Jason Clark on July 26, 2004 6:52 PM EST
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- IT Computing
AnandTech 1.0As most of you know, AnandTech started out as a static HTML site, hosted on GeoCities. Static driven sites are simply HTML based with the content contained within; dynamic driven sites fetch their content from external sources (usually database servers). Back then, static sites were quite popular while dynamic driven web sites were really just starting to catch on. In 1998, at Comdex, we laid out the first dynamic version of AnandTech.com. We decided on Oracle 8i as the database server, and ColdFusion 4.0.1 as the application server. We ran Oracle 8i and ColdFusion on two separate Sun Enterprise servers. We had no issues with Solaris or Oracle, performance-wise, but ColdFusion talking to Oracle was another story.
We developed a fairly simple content management solution that allowed us to post content through web forms. This approach to publishing saved a lot of time as content and the editorial staff grew. Articles could be posted from anywhere, and they could updated or removed at will by using our forms-based interface to the database. At that time, the content management engine was not feature-rich; it performed just the basic tasks necessary for the small editorial staff that we had.
The first version of the site was probably the most problematic version of the website (go figure), and the most difficult to maintain. Oracle is a powerful database server, without a doubt, but it lacks the finesse of Microsoft SQL Server and other database servers to some extent. The management UI leaves much to be desired (it doesn't hold a candle to SQL Server Enterprise Manager), and the language, although powerful, is not for everyone.
For ColdFusion to talk to Oracle, we had to use the Oracle Native drivers, which caused us a fair bit of grief and wasted time, as the SQL syntax had to be compatible with Oracle. When the development team consisted (and still consists) of one developer, time is critical. Speaking as the developer, I come from a SQL Server/Sybase world and while it isn't hard to pick up on Oracle's syntax, it is entirely too painful to use when time is so critical, especially when working with dates. Aside from the pain of the syntax, the native drivers also caused some anguish in ColdFusion. ColdFusion was crashing occasionally and caused some unnecessary administrative headaches that needed to be rectified each time it went down. By this time (about a year or less later), it was time to move on to something more stable.
Hardware used in version 1.0
Sun Enterprise 250 w/ 512MB Memory
View version 1.0 of the website