Data Demythed

Debunking the "conventional wisdom" of data modelling, normalization, etc.


Author: Barry Johnson

Barry Johnson picture

I retired from the World Bank in February 2012, having worked there for 28 years on its financial systems. I led the data warehouse function in the Bank’s Treasury operations for the last decade of that time. More recently, I was also responsible for technical architecture strategies. Before moving to that job in 1984, I consulted with government departments in two Australian states on their land information systems. My work in Victoria became part of its initial Landata state-wide land information system. (I’m sure it has evolved and changed a bit since the early-1980s!)

Contact me via the form on this site.


This web site was originally created with Drupal. I spent some time looking at the implementation of it and the more obvious alternatives, and decided I preferred it technically at that time.

And then I spent several years “battling” the Comments that were posted. I opted for them to be moderated from the outset. I also added modules and tweaked all the knobs I could find to try to reduce the spam commentary, but was never able to stem it completely. In the end, it just wasn’t worth it. (There was also not a single worthwhile comment at the time, so nothing made it out of moderation. I’d like to think that’s only because of the obscurity of my little corner of the web, but maybe not …)

In addition, I’d not found the time to master Drupal’s complexity power.

In the meantime, new options had appeared, and older ones evolved. The option that ultimately appealed, based on what I see as sufficient for now, was regenerating the site as static pages. Of the options of that type, I settled on Markdown-based content, with Hugo as the generation tool.

Initially I tried to keep the original look and feel of the site to a degree. Within my limited HTML+CSS coding skills. Supported by lots of web searching for help. But over time, bit by bit, that has changed. I have even made it more “friendly” (I hope) on smaller screens.

I have also found the following useful as I rebuilt it:

The change to use DuckDuckGo-based search returns my pages to containing nothing but my content. Including no cookies. (If you find any coming from my site, please let me know.)