Monday, August 29, 2005

We are rebranding our new web portal to CJsKitchen.com

CJ are my wife's first and middle initials, and a nick name. For about 7 years, I used my KnowledgeBooks.com site for technology demos - a low level of effort. I recently decided to invest in the creation of three public service (i.e., free, but I will probably add a few Adsense ads eventually) web portals:
  • CJsKitchen.com - our knowledge based cooking and recipe portal. Until this morning, this was our KBrecipes.com site. My wife likes the name change :-)
  • OurEvents.us - a web portal (under construction) for announcing local events, searching for events by ZIP code and distance from where you live, etc. This is also an experiment in architectures for scaling for large numbers of users: I have a budget for how much server costs I am willing to donate for this.
  • KBSportal.com - a news clipping service that generates customized RSS feeds. (under construction)
I love working on interactive web portals; good thing since this is also how I spend most of my time when consulting for customers.

I mostly enjoy the rapid feedback: sometimes I can almost have a change to a web application done before I get off of the telephone with someone requesting an enhancement or bug fix. While I sometimes think that I would rather be working in a more dynamic environment (like Ruby on Rails, or UnCommon Web for Common Lisp), my development environment rocks: IntelliJ working with JavaBeans, JSPs, custom tag libraries, and some Javascript and CSS. My edit/build/redeploy cycle is so quick that very little of my working time is spent waiting.

The other great thing about web portals is the low cost of hosting. Running Tomcat or JBoss is fairly light weight and efficient. Eventually, all dynamic code gets compiled and run through HotSpot, so the performance is good also (even on the really low end servers that I usually deploy to).

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