Spring Cleaning

I've been very gradually upgrading this site back to life for a few years now. Very gradually #amirite . However, after earlier this year having found myself accidentally on the front page of Reddit, HN etc. with my post about building the IMDb boards , I found myself slightly embarrassed, not only by the amount of attention ( 40k+ uniques in the first two days, holy shit! ), but also by people pointing out how clunky the site is to read. Often several times a day.

The styling on the blog section, much like the rest of the blog section, wasn't in a terribly well developed state of completion. I just threw together some hand-written CSS to approximate the look and colours of my last existing Wordpress theme, which I had been fairly happy with. Now that theme was set up maybe ten years ago, and my initial port over to this 'new', self-build CMS maybe four or five years old itself, and I had given no thought at all to mobile, or in fact any screen device very much different from my own laptop display. And my main laptop display is a 1024x768 pixel non- IPS Lenovo ThinkPad x220. That is probably a significantly worse screen than your phone has.

In 2017 it's pretty stupid to build web pages just to be viewed by desktop browsers, so today I'm pushing out a rebuild of the display layer and theme, that hopefully works a little more responsively across varied devices. It should also be easier for me to evolve. I hope it improves things for my handful of select readers. I'm not terrifically good at front-ending, and my heart isn't often in it, but I have tried my best.

I'd like to be updating this site more frequently again, he writes, like one of those bloggers apologising for never blogging , but a large part of getting any kind of schedule working there, is streamlining the publishing workflow. To that end, as well as a more modernised front-end and theme, today I've also released a new site deployment system, that allows me to update the site software more easily. This is clunky, but at least automated. Previously everything was just checked out into a home directory, hand compiled and run on the server. Now that's mostly still happening , but now it's all scripted with configuration management tools so I can release updates like this without having to remember exactly how to set it all up again by hand from first principles.

Of course, for writing articles, I'm still shelling into the server and hand writing html files like a farmer , but it's all steps in the right direction. Sometimes I don't shell in to the server, I author the posts directly using emacs tramp-mode which practically counts as using a GUI round here.

posted by cms on 2017-07-16
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This is beatworm.co.uk
A blog by cms