inessential by Brent Simmons

Moral support for Six Apart

I read on Niall Kennedy’s weblog about a TypePad outage—and I just wanted to send the Six Apart folks a bit of moral support at a time when they might be able to use it.

You may not know that before I did NetNewsWire and MarsEdit I worked at UserLand Software where I helped write weblog systems. Much of my work was on Manila—not just writing code but helping keep the servers up-and-running.

There were lots of 4 a.m. nights for me. Lots. Not a few. Lots. We were hosting many thousands of free sites, and we were developing the software and learning how to make it scale as we were doing the hosting.

And we learned a lot and the software improved steadily.

However, after a while I personally couldn’t do it anymore, and I switched to writing desktop apps, vowing never to write weblog systems—or, really, host weblog systems—ever again.

It’s not just hard work, it can be tough on the psyche too—you’re talking about weblogs, which people feel are an extension of themselves. It’s not some boring abstract thing, not at all, it’s about people’s passions. Their lives, really.

It’s a high calling, and I had to stop after a couple years—but I applaud Six Apart and other folks who are willing to do this. So, when things go wrong—as they will—I think they deserve our thanks and support.