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Back out of Maintenance Mode with HUGE Improvements!

Posted 21 Feb 2023 (2023-02-21)

Maintenance mode is now over.

Now why is this? “I thought you were done with it only a mere few days ago?” I hear you ask. Well a lot has changed and it took a bit of soul searching; let me explain.

The reason I didn’t want to use the site anymore I hadn’t realised was that this site is literally just a pain in the ass crack to run altogether. Yes the design is simple but making pages and ensuring consistency as well as linking them up and hoping to god it does not break – that’s too much for me. I want to just be able to live. So, here was my solution to that.

So in the past I have created various blogging scripts to make making what you are reading right this second easier to manage. Scripts to update indexes as well as the front page, scripts to update RSS feeds even. Now these were fine but I quickly learned something: shell scripts are not made for HTML. You would think that is obvious but honestly I needed a quick solution and it fit the bill for the time.

Eventually I wanted to do more with the site and the little scripts I was using just weren’t cutting it. So what now? Well redesign the site to make it cut it of course! So that’s what I did and I learned a lot, mostly that shell scripts really are not made for HTML.

As time went on I decided I was going to make a static-site generator… in shell scripts for some reason. Somehow this was going to be the solution to all of my problems. I wrote 2 lines and canned the project. Shell scripts REALLY ARE not ma- ok, yes I was starting to see a pattern here finally. Then I went on a ~2 year hiatus, as you do, where I basically abandoned the site due to some unforseen circumstances in life really demotivating me.

Fast forward to sometime last year I decided I was going to come back here and start anew. I redesigned the site a few times before settling on this design which I am quite happy with. I got to business… making f*cking shell scripts yada yada maybe I hadn’t learned. I eventually ran into the same issues and that was that. So. What. Now?

Well I had known about this thing for a while that was a static-site generator and I decided recently to try it. It took a bit of getting used to, around a few days, but when it finally clicked I decided to port all of this site over to it. It’s called Hugo btw.

So what’s my reasoning? Well there are various reasons. One large reason is everything was manual before. Now there are ways to automate HTML generation based on certain conditions which is something I have always wanted. There’s a lot less HTML duplication on the backend (you won’t see it on Ctrl-U) which means greater consistency between pages because I can use something called partials to have a header.html file I can basically just source at the top of every page without needing to think about it. I also have one for the footer.

Maybe the 2 greatest reasons I’m using Hugo: it’s really really fast and all pages are written in Markdown.

The latter is what I would do with the blog before; take Markdown and turn it into HTML, but now Hugo does that and does it for every page. Every single page on this site was once a Markdown file.

This is honestly perfect. It’s not more or less than what I need and it is so so fast. Just as a reminder of my unspoken commitment: this page has never and, still, will never serve your browser JavaScript, the fucking devil language that no one can use properly.

What I value the most is how this lets me extend the extensibility and versatility of the site and how those things let me do wackier things. Don’t expect anything insane, probably gonna have more QoL stuff.

The entire link list will be generated with something called shortcodes which are snippets that can be run inside of Markdown to play around with data. That date up the top is a shortcode that takes the date from this here Markdown file and sticks it up there. The link list really needs it too, that has been the reason behind a lot of redesigns. I expect the blog posts will get tags and so will the link list too. That I really am excited for; they can finally be searchable to a degree. The blog used to have a category system years ago but I got rid of it because it was mostly site updates heh. All those posts are long gone and probably for the better, very pointless and made for the sake of making them.

Anyway ramble over. This is going to be, by far, the best iteration of this site. The blog RSS feed will return and be managed better and the link list may also get one for new links :^) we shall see.