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I built comic hosting software. Is it worth finishing?
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fluffy
is not a fish.


Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 113
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
Not sure what by rebuilding it as a static site generator--in my head that would mean it would spit out static html or something pages, and any time you made a site-wide change it would have to reprocess all of them. Which sounds like a tough sell. And would the navigation bar links have to change on other pages every time a new page was added, etc. I used to build static sites and boy was I relieved once I figured out how to make them dynamic. But maybe I'm misunderstanding what you meant.

No, that's what I mean, but static generation only has to happen when things change, which is infrequent (and a good static generator is good at caching things as it goes so it only has to do repeated work once). Dynamic generation has to happen every single time a page is viewed. This has implications on security (since every page handler has to know about the database, which means there's more places that potential security bugs can leak in) and performance, especially if your site suddenly gets very popular.

Security: Remember a few years ago when there was a nasty self-propagating WordPress exploit that ended up "hacking" pretty much every ComicPress-based webcomic out there (as well as every WordPress blog)? That's a direct result of a very exposed attack surface with a lot of wiggly bits that are impossible to all control well. It's like your house is on a busy intersection and has 20 doors to the street and every single one has to be locked up every day with a different key, and sometimes you just forget one of them.

Performance: See how badly most ComicPress sites melt down when they get linked to by another more popular webcomic or Reddit or whatever. Static sites can go much, much further before they have problems like that.

Skin Horse is a good example of a comic whose site had MASSIVE problems while they were getting more readers. When you get to a certain point you can afford really beefy hosting with a bunch of performance-tuning but at that point you're dealing with dedicated hardware, full-time admins, paid programmers, etc. and that gets expensive fast.

I could go on and on but really, trust me on this. I have a lot of experience, both personal and professional, when it comes to running sites that scale. (And my own site still doesn't scale particularly well, because I don't have much time to work on it and there are still a bunch of things that still rely on the database or filesystem. But there's only so much I can do to optimize it since I'm using cheap Dreamhost.)

Also, basic includes of server-side content is generally okay (I do still do a lot of that on my site and that isn't a performance bottleneck). It's just doing a database or filesystem round-trip to get the content, prev/next links, etc. that's problematic.
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smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 3450
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, thanks, that makes sense!
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ragortue



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sure hope that development will still continue here.
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john5884



Joined: 03 Nov 2015
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

think I would want to see a sample site that was a webcomic, rather than prose, and one that showed just what sort of customization..

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