Tembo 0.0.1 has arrived!

Will post more soon, but just for now – very pleased and excited to release the first rough proof-of-concept version of Tembo. You can download it here.

It’s a WordPress plugin that creates WordPress plugins.

This prototype version doesn’t do much that you’d find useful (for one thing, it doesn’t even let you add new records!). But you can see the general idea of how to walk through software development through an easy interview process.

If you want to see a sample application built by Tembo, with data pre-entered, have a look here.

What will Tembo do?

Just completed the first draft of the “Functional Design” document for Tembo. Two important lessons from this document:

  1. This is going to be a really cool piece of software.
  2. We must be crazy. This is going to take a bit of a moon launch to complete.

Have a look at the functional design document and see if you agree! Questions and suggestions on this draft are *much* appreciated, whether on the github site, as comments to this post, or through the “contact” page of this iste.

Why “really cool?” Here’s an example. Continue reading “What will Tembo do?”

Tembo: How we got here

Here’s a longish history on how I came to develop Tembo, a WordPress plugin for developing database applications.

I’ve been developing database applications for thirty five years. I’ve built systems for nonprofits, small businesses, medical researchers, hobbyists, corporations, government agencies – really, anybody who needs to organize a lot of information.

From about 1995 to 2005, Microsoft Access was my go-to tool for developing database applications. Yes, I know: me and just about everybody else in the world. Let’s all just acknowledge that Access was a pretty sensational product for its day. Access is simple enough for a beginner to use (with a little help, maybe), but it also offers great advanced features for experienced programmers.

Sadly, Microsoft never managed to make Access work for the web. By about 2005, that was a big failing. People wanted their data to be available anywhere, any time, with all the convenience of the browser. Without Access, developers had to use much lower-level languages for custom web database applications. That meant a LOT more foundation work. Frameworks like Ruby on Rails helped, but development was still far from simple.

Fast forward to 2020, and incredibly, this problem still hasn’t been solved. Continue reading “Tembo: How we got here”