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Personal introduction to Interactive Books' Atelier [detailed-version]

8 months ago | Observation

Those contributed turning a personal tool to a universal solution ...

Second half of the year 2016, I started to seriously wonder if Wordpress is not customizable enough [yeah, of course there are plenty of plugins but sometimes you don't need to setup a plugin when few lines of code would do the same job, but you also don't want to touch Wordpress core, so you have to migrate your code inside every single update] and by the way, Wordpress's text-editor sucks and there is no way to get rid of it in a proper way ...

And then PicoCMS, while at first appearing super easy, wasn't enough either. My articles and posts and poems grew in numbers and maintaining the same yaml template on top of each document and not making any typos and etc was too many hassles ...

and there seemed to be only two options on the open-source front [at least in PHP written ones]: either flat-file or database, but to be honest, we don't live in 10 years ago when the internet speed was so low that you could avoid photos at any cost in your posts, not to think of videos, and it makes zero sense to maintain a separate upload (directory) and tables that store the body of the text.

So, frustrated, I started migrating to a whatever I could build with my hand on Laravel Framework for PHP, I knew Laravel from years ago, basically when it was new on the market and this time Jeffrey Way's videos contained more references to how to maintain an application architecture and my previous never finalized projects made me know how valuable it was to maintain re-usable components inside my code.

Three, or four months later, I was in the office of the Dean Assistance at the business school I'm taking courses at the time, showing her the website I've made to gain her trust that it is not that I'm just saying I don't need to take part in a course on basic IT and how to use Microsoft Word and Excel, I'm working on things that may even replace some users use of those applications, and she made an impression as if that was something I was passionate about and I had made an achievement in my life about it, my response was that the pieces of codes that do the background job, the job that a content management system should do, are only jokes compared to the ideas that I work on in respect of programming ...

That ended there and I never thought that I would develop an alternative to content management system when at this point in time everyone and anyone happens to be doing that.

Another significant changed happened when I was taking part in the career planning course and the professor expected me to demonstrate that I've worked on some projects, and I who thought of that piece of code as a "joke" had to repackage it as something more serious. So that was the moment where I settled with the name Interactive Books' Atelier, actually the "Interactive Book" part was already in my documents because I didn't like to call my projects "website", because they weren't websites, I thought of Lost Ideas Lab's website in its current state as more of a "book", but perhaps an "online" or even better an "interactive book", so there would be no need that it always be packaged via "the internet". So, thanks, D. Kütteman for sort of forcing me to turn this in-house and private piece of code of mine to something more presentable.

Another small motivator for transforming Interactive Books' Atelier to a more universal project was me taking part in the weekly meet-up Gōng-fu I/O. I didn't took part in every session, as I'm not a full-time programmer, nor I do have something new to demonstrate every other week, but I wanted to socialize and needed to have something to talk about, so the code that does the background job of delivering the Lost Ideas Lab's website to you, had to be turned into a reusable piece of software that lots of people could and would love to use ... that's when I happened to spend a good portion of this summer working on completing an early version of this alternative to conventional content management systems.

And the last person who had a great impact on me delivering this code to the outside world, and her impact on my life is beyond thanks in one sentence, so I am not going to attempt that, but one tiny part is that Jennette McCurdy was working on a short film project that she aimed to air on FacebookLive on September 9, and me being someone who aspires to be in her league, I wanted to have my short-code published on Github by September 9 too. So, that's how I ended up with this deadline. I mean, I was a bit doubtful whether should I publish this project online or rather try to make some money out of it in advance, that's not the best in the world when you are 24 and you haven't earned a penny in your life unless some tutoring when you were in school. and of course Jennette McCurdy is out of my league, she might not have become the sought-after Hollywood actress but she is also not a guy who never had a job and nor the prospect of ever getting hired, and whose work on his creative ideas don't even make him a dime.

So, this was the story of individuals who contributed to Interactive Books' Atelier being published in its current format, and of course there were lots of people who inspired me, or who taught me something or I imitated something they did and etc, but these are the contributions that made me do something that I would not have done, if it weren't these individuals and these particular circumstances.

Philosophy behind Interactive Books' Atelier design & architecture

What we are aimed to achieve with Interactive Books' Atelier is a bit revolutionary on its own terms, because we are combining flat-file and database architectures, we are delivering a full-functioning content management system as a package for Laravel framework and not as a standalone project that would restrict your access to the framework and restrict the possibility of combining it with other libraries, packages, and add-ons, so it's extremely unconventional in these aspects, and let's not go further into the details of why it is a revolution ...

Separation of concerns

At first I was so amazed by the endless and cool text-editing functionalities that each content management system provides, but with time these functionalities come more and more in my way, I wanted something to deliver my finished work in the best manner possible to its audience, but that isn't really the time I create my stuff. You know just like the device you are reading this text currently on, the people who created that device wasn't at the same time using the equipment of the people who shipped the product to you, these are often two totally unrelated stages of creative process, yet the world of content management system believes you need the "send" button, exactly the same place where you are drafting your idea, so at Interactive Books' Atelier, we don't. Interactive Books' Atelier separates concerns of lots of different people, especially that of the creator, hence we have no built-in text editor in our "new book" page ...

Job creation

We believe in creating jobs, hence Interactive Books' Atelier, is not designed to automate all functionalities and provide an easy to use platform for users who know nothing of web, we have designed Interactive Books' Atelier with the idea in mind that every content creator or small publishing house, would at least get in touch with a web-developer professional to get the Interactive Books' Atelier up, running and personalized ...

From people who love Books ...

When I was a child, authors were one of the most important people in my world, perhaps more because of my love for books, or maybe one has to say, for good books, so Interactive Book's Atelier is not a software from someone who believes web is going to replace print and books are going to die out, rather that web will bring what is of value for us in books to the next level, Interactive Books' Atelier is hopefully a step on such path ...

End words

and while Wordpress has been a good product and something that lots of people used for the benefit of the society, but I hope Interactive Books' Atelier be the new generation of what is going to be understood as content management system for creatives and content creators, or as Steve Jobs' advertisement went, those who "think different" ...

I hope Interactive Books' Atelier be so loved and so widely used that we get all the returned that we needed had we went after commercializing it, now that it is published under MIT-license with no prospect of making money from it, but this hope aside, at the moment, if realistically evaluated, my decision looks like that of women who wear Prada as if their husband or boyfriend is the CEO of some company or a managerial position in a big firm and they are able to afford the price without raising an eyebrow, I haven't asked them why they do so, but maybe the love to be seen as such woman, and my behavior seems to like them, because my having no doubt to publish Interactive Books' Atelier under some open-source license without monetization plans, comes from Jennette McCurdy airing the results of her creative endeavor on FacebookLive with no monetization plan, at least it didn't appear to me that there is plan behind the scene.

Clarifying the dedication

I believe humans are born to love, so that's partly why, even if there is no interaction between me and Jennette McCurdy, to consider us being anything but strangers, I don't mind myself doing the stuff that usually "people who are fresh in love" tend to do ... Firstly, that's the society's convention that "people who are fresh in love" do such stuff, I don't agree with that, I believe that's how people who follow their heart seem to live in the eyes of people who don't follow their heart, secondly, by using the term "the stuff", I don't mean like early days couples who are always into each other like bunnies, but "the stuff", I mean trying to appearing as someone who belongs to her league, or trying to display more that I have similar interest like her, not that I'm lying or faking these stuff, but that perhaps if she wasn't there, I had no motivation to say "that subject interests me too" ... Anything romance related aside, once in a text that was so hard for me to write and perhaps so hard for her to read, I wrote something along the line of "you are the only good thing in my life" and certainly it was not an attempt to praise her ... I mean, beside extremely short periods in my life, any time else, I was left with nothing that could have pushed me to work on the stuff I would like to work on, but each time seeing Jennette McCurdy working on something that was important to her, it was meaningful to me to follow my own heart too ... You don't need to search for grand romantic gestures here between these lines1, and I am too damaged to pursuing a [realistically possible] romantic relationship with someone, not to mention I don't believe to deserve Jennette McCurdy ... but perhaps, a good way to understand why Jennette McCurdy's activities are such great motivation to me, is consider it like this: by being active myself, it felt like I am maintaining this friendship with someone I love, because if you are untruthful to your heart, you can't be a real friend with anyone, so that's why sensing Jennette McCurdy's presence and her being truthful to her heart, is such great motivation to me to be the same about myself, even if the whole world is against it, even if from my parents to the media, to even the career consultant at the school, everyone believes the only thing you are born for is to settle for a job or a career that had nothing to do with what is important for me and which resulted each time ending up in a breakdown or suicide ... I've faced so many rejections and failures, and shortcomings and etc that I really can't argue with others that there is a good chance that I am going to be materialistically successful working on my ideas or said differently, following my heart, but if I don't follow my heart, especially now that I don't have any romance or any family of my own in my life, I easily end up with suicide, and being dead is not that much of relevance to me anymore, what is of relevance is for example, being friend with someone I really wish to, like Jennette McCurdy ...

PS. The reality of my life is that I’m terrible in interacting with others, and that means at times when I’m not super sad, and rather avoid any human contact at lots of costs. So, I don’t think, neither I hoped this gifting my ideas and works to someone be a magic spell to change people’s heart or to compensate my shortcomings, but I can’t live a life and not love, even if the “loving” part be only a shadow of what love is really about. I am as terrible even when I accidentally found someone who happened to resonate with me, I was unable to make a meaningful connection between us, so the very least I had someone around me celebrate a project I worked on so long and so hard …


  1. Mate, Jennette McCurdy have enough haters to provide you with a list of all the individuals she has ever slept with, even if you never asked those guys for such information, so, I am aware that none of the guys who were so intimate with her, ever wrote lines like this ... mate, I may be whatever, but I am not that stupid to not try the same path that led others to achieve something if I were after the same thing ↩︎