About Kutani Ceramic Web site
I am a French engineer who felt in love with Kutani ceramics when living in Japan early 1990’s. I was working on a book on Kutani ceramics when I decided to take the opportunity of internet to share my knowledge with other lovers of Japanese ceramics. I then simply put online all the data I had gathered from my research.
The site started on July 3rd, 1996 at compuserve.com. In August 1998 I bought my own domain name gbouvier.com. The site was then hosted in California. In March 2003 as I was receiving so many mails asking for enquiries on Kutani, I opened a Yahoo’s group forum which was quite successful. The site was growing rapidly especially the virtual museum and it was getting impossible to update 1000 pages!
I decided to change from static HTML pages to dynamic. I developed with the help of one of my friend a comprehensive database system. It took us one year and in July 2004 the first version of the database was uploaded. The Yahoo forum had limitations and was flowed with spams. In February 2005 I closed it down and started to cooperate with Gotheborg.com. I became also a moderator at Gotheborg and took care of the Kutani section.
In October 2005 I started to manage access to the database and required a membership. The database is now becoming the biggest internet resources on Kutani information and is the key center of the website. The production site which had been hosted in California was moved in October 2011 to a Dynamic Cloud on a Virtual Server located in Germany. This was the occasion to upgrade Linux OS, MySQL, PHP and Apache to the recent standard versions. It took almost 2 years to complete the upgrade…
In 2013 I asked my son to take care of the technical administration of the site and we moved to virtual cloud. The production machine was in Baltimore and the development machine in Paris. Technically it was very good but time consuming for OS administration and patches…. and also expensive to run..
Finally, in 2016, after purchasing the domain kutani.org, we changed provider and moved to GoDaddy in Phoenix, Arizona on mutualized machines. In February 2017 we lost everything…We had what we had paid for!
Painstakingly, we rebuilt from scrap on a new environment. As the site static part was still using late 1990 HTML coding and MYSQL was having language compatibility problem with last versions, we decided to make a team with my brother and rebuilt a new site using a CMS (content management system). We decided to use SPIP a French CMS open source. It should prevent language problem in the future as the open source is having regular update to cope with language evolution. On March 25 2017 the beta site was online for testing.
April 7, the new site was online and by end of April almost everything was cleared and operational.
The job had lasted several months and my brother was almost full time on the project.... Of course we regularly improve the site and add new features as the need appears.
In order to control the cost of the environment, it has become now a family operation, my son is taking care in the US of the OS administration and security of the machines, my brother, in Paris of the development and I manage the content.
I really hope that you will appreciate the use of the site and enjoy the Kutani ceramics as much as I do. Of course we welcome any suggestion, recommendation or comment.
For the Kutani Team - Georges Bouvier