New year, new website. I decided the I wanted 2023 to be The Year In Which I Finished Side Projects. While I could arguably claim that this has been my resolution every year dating back to 2009, I’m going to try to stick with it. As with every new year’s resolution that starts with a blog post, I’m sure that this will seem naive in the future when this is the only blog post on the entire site.
And in the intervening 20 years, the web has changed a bit. I think Dan Olson put it well in his Crypto video:
We used to have a web where anyone could learn to write a webpage in HTML in an afternoon. It’s just writing text and then using tags to format the text. But over time people, understandably, wanted the web to do more, to look better… Soon the definition of what a “website” was and looked like sailed out of reach of casual users, and eventually even out of reach of all but the most dedicated hobbyists.
This then gave rise to everyone just posting their identities/content on Facebook, Twitter and the like. I’ve tried to maintain my website, but large swathes of it have gone untouched for over a decade. (The most recent picture I posted is from early 2005 I think, which not coincidentally is a few months before Facebook introduced their photo functionality) At some point I made an effort to move all my previous blog entries from Livejournal to Wordpress, and then I tried to do a handcrafted HTML rewrite (but with templates) in 2020, but that project stalled too. It’s clear I can now no longer count myself a “dedicated hobbyist”.
In one sense, I’m admitting defeat, and just adopting a framework and running with it. Post-wordpress I had tried to port everything using Lektor which had the benefit of being Python-based, but I struggled to find pretty premade templates that I could tweak. On Dan Allan‘s suggestion, I’m using Hugo. It’s nice enough, and I’ve found it sufficiently intuitive that I’ve made a number of edits to the theme without much trouble, although it drives me crazy that I had to lear yet another new syntax for if statements.
if or (eq .iconName "instagram") (eq .iconName "instagram2")
We’re gonna call that “good enough” and just post. Sufficiently finished, and during the first week of 2023 (barely). Hopefully you’ll see a post about my next side project soon, and together we’ll Bring Back Blogging.