You may notice that the site you love has a new look. But the visual refresh, while substantial and welcome, is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve changed far more in the deep infrastructure of ReadWrite.

ReadWrite 4.0: ReadWrite’s July 2014 redesign

Since its earliest days, one of ReadWrite’s core obsessions has been the tools used to create the Web. And yet for most of our history, we didn’t have the resources to make the most of those technologies ourselves.

That changed two and a half years ago, when Say Media acquired ReadWrite. Say Media is a media company and a technology company. Some organizations struggle to reconcile those identities, but one of the things that makes this place special is that we don’t see a contradiction.

Since Say became ReadWrite’s publisher, we’ve released three new versions of the site. You can call this one ReadWrite 4.0. And the best news is that the software underpinning the site will let us engage in even more rapid change in the future.

Say Media’s Ross Hattori and Ben Trott discuss ReadWrite 4.0’s launch.

The Fourth Is Strong With This One

ReadWrite is now running on Tempest, Say Media’s internally developed publishing system. As a result, while it looks like a website, it’s really a Web app—a single-page application, if you want to use the technical term, like Gmail or Twitter.

This doesn’t change the goal of the site, which is to deliver a great reading experience. Expectations of readers have changed in the past 11 years, though. It’s no longer about serving up a static mix of text and images for a desktop computer monitor. A great reading experience must adapt to different devices, screen sizes, and environments—as well as learning about readers and giving them information suited to their needs.

As a result, it makes more sense to deliver a compact Web app in the browser which then fetches and displays the text, images, and other elements of a story, and arranges them intelligently. That’s what Tempest does. And it’s a radical change from the past two decades of how Web servers have worked, particularly for content sites.

Tempest uses Web technologies ReadWrite has written about frequently, like AngularJS and Node.js. Say Media engineers have extended those software libraries further and contributed the code to the public as open source: For example, software engineer Martin Atkins built angularjs-server, a specialized tool for making Angular sites friendly to search engines, which are peculiarly old-fashioned in how they expect Web servers to work.

As a result of this new, modern infrastructure, ReadWrite’s pages should load quickly and look good on a variety of devices. One particular benefit will be an ability to move very quickly from page to page within the site. I hope that will encourage readers to take a deep dive on topics they are passionate about, and spend more time with our rich and illuminating archive.

Moving our substantial body of work from 11 years of continuous publication was itself arduous, especially with our habit of testing the boundaries of what one could do in the canvas of HTML. While we’ve carried all but a tiny fraction of our articles over, a few are still being migrated. If you encounter a missing article or any other bugs with the site, please let us know at bugs@readwrite.com.

 

Say Media’s Paul Devine and Matt Matson prepare to move ReadWrite to new infrastructure, as Ramona the Love Terrier supervises. 

Now, To Take Action

As part of this redesign, we’ve renamed two of our sections. Enterprise is now Work. Small Biz is now Start.

With every article we write, we hope to inform you about new aspects of technology—the Web, cloud, mobile, and social. But we also aim to inspire you to take action. To work more effectively. To play with more joy. To hack new things. To start your own adventure.

And so those are ReadWrite’s sections: Web, Cloud, Mobile, Social. Work, Play, Hack, Start. They don’t limit or contain our coverage, but they help define it. We describe the world of technology. And we help you figure out what to do with it.

Extending The Web To All Who Need It

By “you,” we mean all of you. Everyone in the world. With ReadWrite 4.0, we’re also beginning a new focus on our longtime cause: the democratization of technology. Technology is only useful if everyone can participate in its benefits and its future direction.

We will continue to champion those left behind and left out, and advocate for their inclusion in technology. To be a support for them, we require a sturdy platform of our own.

You need a Web server to serve the Web.

ReadWrite thanks all of the Say Media engineering, design, and product team members who worked on our relaunch on Tempest, including but by no means limited to Adrian Cleave, Antoine Imbert, Brad Choate, James Cabrera, John Vars, Paul Devine, Pradheap Babu, Ross Hattori, Shane Dosch, Steven Cook, Ben Trott, Dave Lerman, Bryan Wyman, Franck Cuny, Matt Matson, Smith Schwartz, Michael Hunter, Shanna Chambers, Madeleine Weiss, and Alex Schleifer.