Monday, November 03, 2014
I have been kicking around some ideas to improve beyng.com. It's design hasn't changed much since I started it in 1995. It has grown, and there have been a few technical changes, but it is still a collection of static text (HTML) files that I manually edit on my PC and upload to the web site.

I've considered running applications on beyng.com, to automate updating the web pages, and to generate the pages on the fly, but it was always too expensive. Much more than the ~US$200/year it costs to run beyng.com with static pages. The kick-back from users clicking on Amazon links and buying stuff covers most of the cost. Thanks! To run applications I would have had to either run a web server at home, all the time, myself, or pay an ISP to run my server in their server farm and do the maintenance necessary to keep a server running all the time.

Today, twenty minutes into the future, server services have been virtualized and commodified, and prices have dropped to the point where I am experimenting with them and considering running beyng.com on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

I have written an application that generates the Gesamtausgabe page on beyng.com. Besides being a step in the automation of beyng.com, I also find the app useful for finding information quickly. It presents information differently (e.g., links a GA text to multiple translations), and with some additional details not on the GA page at beyng.com. The app's user interface adapts itself to work on smaller screens. If you look up Heidegger's works on a regular basis, you might find the app useful too.

I'm announcing the Gesamtausgabe app is ready for beta-testing here, now, before I make it generally available; post the URL to the search engines. I'm hoping early users will be proof-readers for my mistakes, and suggest improvements.

The Gesamtausgabe app's web site is currently at: https://gesam.azurewebsites.net/

I've written an explanation of the tool here.

That introduction is probably too geeky, but I wanted to explain why the tool requires a login.

If you're hosting service is charge $200 per year to host that you're paying *way* too much. Go look at Bluehost.com. I switched my stuff over this year and went from a hundred a month to around $50 a year. But there are much cheaper plans too if you don't need email and so forth.

On the downside when I exported my old blog stuff from back in the day I found WordPress on the new site wouldn't important correctly. (Which is why you can't find my old blog posts on Heidegger and so forth - I still have the backups but haven't figured out how to massage the SQL files to make it work right yet)
The $200 includes the annual cost of the beyng.com domain. I have the cheapest deal at my ISP, $12/month. It hasn't changed since I got it in 2008, and I don't use the 1000 mail boxes, etc., so it's time to go shopping.

Based on the charges to my Azure dev account, I'm guesstimating hosting the same, static HTML, Ereignis web site will cost less. Mainly because of Azure's more precise pricing. On Azure I would essentially be paying per http response, and the site will be dormant in between, versus paying for having a site spun up and ready to respond, when there's no http requests coming in.

The big deal for Ereignis on Azure is that I have a ton of other services in ready reserve. I can write code anywhere (I have an Azure VM with my dev environment for when I'm not at home, source control is in the cloud) and deploy a new website with the push of a button.

I'm thinking up ways to repurpose this blog's content. I'm finding that to provide useful intellectual services (e.g. for making sense of Martin), a lot of the work turns out to be figuring out how to process text from blogger, from PDF files, etc. Or hire a thousand scribes to key content into a usable format.
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