TableauBytes has existed for a very long time - since 23rd July 2018 in fact. So it's very nearly five years old. But it's never been accessible to the public before. This wasn't due to any particular desire on my part to keep it hidden, it was just ... circumstances.
When I created TableauBytes, the reason then was the same as the reason now, to have somewhere accessible that I could use to store all the useful things about Tableau I found, so I could find them again later if I needed them. If you have a look at my personal blog over on MuddyDogs.life you'll see there are a fair number of posts about SQL on there. I stored them there so I could find them if I needed them later and so I could share them with co-workers. It worked really well, but MuddyDogs is quite messy. It has a lot of posts about a LOT of different things. So when I decided I wanted to do the same thing for Tableau I decided to do it in a more organised fashion and give it, it's own, dedicated blog. But how to do that?
MuddyDogs is, and always has been, built on the blogging platform, Ghost. This had some disadvantages, especially in the early days, as Ghost wasn't very mature then. The most obvious shortfall was the lack of a search function - a bit of a failing in a site you're planning using as a repository 😂
So rather than use Ghost, I decided to go with that firm favourite of Internet blogging geekdom - Wordpress. Wordpress is very mature and has a huge amount of functionality for virtually any type of website that needs content management - like a blog/repository. If you can think of it, there is probably a Wordpress plugin to do it. Getting everything sorted out, and setting up a fully functional site in Wordpress, was a lot of work and I wanted to get everything just right before I launched the site to the outside world. I could still use it, because as the creator I saw a different version to everyone else. The world saw a holding page with a logo saying that the site was coming soon ... I saw a fully functional, but content incomplete, Wordpress site.
And there in lay the problem. I never actually turned the key and launched it, because it was never quite ready. That coupled with other things like, job changes, the odd global pandemic, and more job changes, meant it was never quite the right time to turn the key. Which is ridiculous, because if you wait for the right time, it will never come ... which it didn't 🤦.
So fast forward to now. You're reading this, so TableauBytes is obviously accessible to the public now. What changed? Life, circumstances and Ghost, all changed. Ghost is a lot more mature now and has the functionality to handle this kind of blog - for example, it now has a builtin search function (thank you Ghost development team 🙏, we ❤ you). I stopped prevaricating and trying to achieve perfection, and life just decided to be life as it normally does.
So, why am I talking about Ghost again? Wordpress is very powerful but it's not that easy to create content in. You can't really just sit down and type and throw stuff onto a page and end up with a readable page at the end of it. There is a lot of tweaking that has to be done to make it look acceptable. Ghost on the other hand, was written from day one to be super easy to create content in and to look good at the end of it with minimal effort. With Ghost, it's always about the content not the process.
So TableauBytes has been moved over to Ghost and the content, where it is still appropriate, is being transferred across. I didn't want to simply do a "lift'n'shift" of everything because some of it isn't relevant anymore. And if I did that, it would all have to be checked for formatting and links and relevance which would have delayed things.
And I decided to just turn-the-key immediately and make it accessible now. It's going to be light on content for a while, but at least it's here and people can see it.
“never feel guilty for starting again”
— Rupi Kaur