I received a letter in my email yesterday which was sent out by Ontario developer Brent Howard, stating that he had purchased the formerly based in Santa Monica company Subdreamer, previously owned by Ziad Hilal. According to the letter, Brent Howard became involved with the Subdreamer community in 2003, and worked for Subdreamer from 2005 through 2009. Brent has named this newly-Canadian company Subdreamer Web Development, and has listed several items which he would like to work on in continuing the development of Subdreamer CMS.
I purchased a license for Subdreamer way back in 2006, when we were looking for ways to improve and grow one of our other sites – one which has since fallen off in use and will probably be integrated in some way into the future of Village Gamer. We didn’t use Subdreamer for very long, because while it started off promising, I soon found the software to be confusing, hard to learn, and not very friendly when it came to integrating our forum. When I look back in my Subdreamer Outlook folder, I note that it’s full of trouble tickets sent to Subdreamer customer support by the student coders who were, at that time, helping to develop our sites. After weeks turned into months of stagnation with Subdreamer, we mothballed the software somewhere in a cobweb-filled corner of our server reserved for failed design attempts. A costly lesson, with the license having set me back 100.00USD for a site which has no external income.
While I am definitely not the most knowledgeable person out there when it comes to using a CMS, I know when it frustrates me beyond redemption, and there are two CMS products out there which succeeded in doing so – Subdreamer and Drupal. I have been in the web game long enough to know that every CMS product has a learning curve as well as limitations, and I, nor anyone behind the scenes here at Village Gamer (that would be Scott), has the time or funds to develop a custom site from the ground up, so we depend on products like WordPress (which we currently use) to be the backbone of our sites, and even though WP has also frustrated me at times, it seems easier to get along with, despite my lack of time for learning, absentmindedness and low frustration threshold. In my mind, what I want to do is very logical and solid – however it appears that software developers don’t think like Geminis and presume that everyone with a web presence knows the ins and outs of code hacking, site security and features integration.
So with all that said, and despite my personal past experiences with Subdreamer, I do wish Brent Howard and his development team all the success that I know they are hoping for with this new acquisition.