Version 3

Refined. Polished.

Rebuilt from the ground up, the new site is refined from the presentation to the source. The theme has been modernized to load faster and I created more ways to navigate the site so more data is easily accessible while keeping the idea of simplicity in mind.

However, the site is more than just a pretty face. As a DIY’er, I take pleasure in building something from the ground up. The previous versions were powered by Wordpress. It’s amongst the most popular blogging technologies but honestly maintaining it is a nightmare.

There are also more goals in mind with the new site that will encourage more postings and in effect be the personality.

I hope you enjoy what’s to come.

Technologies

The site is no longer powered by a backend technology that has to be coupled with a database. This made issues when trying to upgrade and keep up to date. Now we’re a fully statically generated site. This has a lot of benefits such as less server maintenance (virtually none) and much faster load times from the user experience.

Hugo

This is the a new player to the top static site generators out there today. I initially tried porting over my site from Wordpress with Jekyll. It wasn’t as straight forward as I thought it would be. There were a few bumps on the road were taking away from my fire.

I ended up choosing Hugo because it was easy to get an example site up and running very quick. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Jekyll might but I realized that I didn’t need them. There is also something to be said about Hugo’s speed. It’s a big deal when creating a new page because the generator has to rebuild just about every page. Being written in Go was a great idea.

A few things that I thought were really nice out of the box was the web server, sitemap generator, and RSS support. Not to mention the whole application is a single binary app.

XHTML

This is mainly a matter of preference. It bothers me that you don’t have to close certain tags in HTML which is why I prefer XHTML. I like to keep some sort of sanity.

I cringe every time I think of how browsers must parse standard HTML. I think of the days when I was a fresh programmer at my first job and tasked with data mining from websites using PHP. Oh, we just went to a dark place didn’t we?

SASS + SUSY + CSS3

This goes back to my DIY nature. I don’t like using pre-built frameworks like Twitter’ Bootstrap because it seems to be a lot of overkill for doing a few simple things. Sometimes you have to use so many CSS classes to achieve something and it feels dirty, similar to writing inline styles. I like running lean and mean, that’s always been my motto.

ES6 + Babel

Let’s face it, JavaScript sucks. We all know it. A lot of the time it doesn’t make sense which is probably why it’s so closely related to HTML. Nonetheless it’s a necessary evil. ES6 sucks a lot less by letting you regain some amount of sanity. Using Babel I can future proof my code and start using the technologies of tomorrow, today.

jQuery

Meh. Not much to say about jQuery. Let’s just move on.

Handlebars

This is a fantastic client side library for building templates. I’m a huge fan. Not currently using it at the moment of this writing but it’s baked into the JS application ready to go. It will be used in future plans.

PrismJS

The source code viewer you see throughout the site is using PrismJS. I have to give it two thumbs up. One for following standards and another for looking awesome. I just wish they had a better way of building custom packages. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers.

Services

Now that this is a 100% static site, I need a few services to help with features needing a backend.

GitHub

GitHub just get’s it. Get it? Thanks to their static website hosting I don’t have to pay a dime or manage a server anymore. Instead I just create a repo and run my website off a branch. Having your SCM and website coupled together like this is very pleasant and makes for a simple deploy process.

Oh, and did I mention this site is now completely open source?

Mailchimp

Please signup to the newsletter if you want to stay up to date. I’m planning on doing only one newsletter a month if there is a decent amount of subscriptions.

Dedicated to my daughter

This site is dedicated to my daughter, Eva. May all your dreams come true.

Sep 5, 2015 Etc

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Thank you!
Richard S.