Hello world

It took 2050 days for me to put something substantial on this domain, but finally here we are. I’ve considered putting something up multiple times since the bare Wordpress installation that used to live here died, and have a few notebook pages worth of ideas sketched out to varying degrees of completeness (skewed significantly to one end of that spectrum – no guesses which!). At some point while thinking about what an interactive mind map of articles (organised hierarchically by subjects/topics, obviously) might look like (this?) I realised just how much time I was wasting. There’s a toss up between how ‘unique’ I wanted the site to be and how large the pile of potential project write ups was becoming, and as time went on the latter began to outweigh the former.

Hence, this. I knew about static site generators while dreaming up those ideas, but was hesitant to add (what I perceived to be) complexity to what should just be a simple site with some blog posts. As my mind map idea might suggest my imagination was actually the main source of complexity, and it turns out that I’d also significantly underestimated how simple Jekyll was to set up and how many templates were available. Having gone through the process of choosing a template and adapting it I’m convinced I made the right choice – agonising over the design of an entire site to the same extent that I did over the type and colour of the social media glyphs would result in it never being completed.

Generators like this also lower the mental barrier to writing a new post even further. Make a new markdown file, commit & push and you’re golden. Pagination? That’s a plugin. RSS? Not that it’ll likely get used, but at least it’s there for free. Tagging? Another plugin, and almost certainly not something I’d end up implementing myself. One of my remaining worries was something along the lines of “but I might want to have some kind of dynamic project hosted on the site in the future”, which whilst possibly true sounds suspiciously like an excuse to put things off. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

I’ll round this off by mentioning Steve Yegge’s post on blogging. It’s well worth a read.