And, we're back


When I graduated from AppAcademy, I hacked up a stand-in portfolio website using turn-key Wordpress provided by my hosting company and a slightly tweaked version of a theme I kind of liked.

Well, over time I realized I didn't much like Wordpress. The toolkit seemed robust, but so slow, to the point that I would get frustrated playing with settings. I can sort of tolerate that sort of thing, except for the following:

  1. It's a personal home, not something for work, so comfort and familiarity is supreme.
  2. Comfort, for me, is derived largely from things like responsiveness. If there is every visible lag in typing, I get subtly frustrated and that frustration mounts.
  3. The plugins I most wanted to use were flaky at best, and I was not and am not inclined to learn PHP to get (for instance) an email-to-blog portal working
  4. It was subtly messing up some raw entries when they got written to database, leading to subtle rendering artifacts that were hard to fix due to the slowness mentioned above.
  5. I realized the theme I had landed on was flaky in its own way, and I didn't much want to debug someone else's idea of what a good layout looks like.

All credit to the authors of WP, and free WP themes, but they're just not for me, not for this.

So I had been vowing to re-write my blog to something I would enjoy, and fiddled around with a couple things over the years. It never was a priority, so I tinkered back and forth between rails and static site generators, like Jekyll.

I'm going to elide a huge amount of history and research, but basically I realized a hand-written rails CMS was a total waste of time, and the half-measures—existing rails CMS apps and engines—were inappropriate for my goals. I made a fair shot at using Jekyll, too, but liquid is way too constraining1 for a personal site where I have total control over the build process.

Meanwhile, I'd gotten sick of Facebook et al's controls. I pay for hosting, I pay for registration, and I know how to manage my own content—I don't need to be someone else's revenue source. So I downloaded as much of my own content from other sites as possible and archived it locally, and I'm in the process of shutting down my social media presence. This is my home now.

This, then, is my blog. I have a backlog of topics and to-dos I want to address, so there should be a real burst of new topics as I have time to put things down. I'm not entirely sure what this is going to become, but it's lightweight (static site generated using Middleman), and it's mine.

  1. As I understand it, liquid is intended for things like storefronts where you don't want the store owners having the ability to break things or to access a full interpreter via templates. I don't care, so it's not right for my needs.