lighted horse carousel

Photo by Boudewijn Huysmans

Blog Update 2019

Blog Update 2019

life

“Oops… I did it again. I played with my blog. Got lost in the code.”

Given my recent experiments with web technologies (see Electron ➕ Blazor = 💙) I’ve been meaning to brush up on my web development skills. So this lead me to once again, updating my blog theme.

Old Stack

So, what do I still have from the Blog Update 2018 post?

  • Hexo - Hexo is a javascript static content generator, and still awesome.
  • Unsplash - Unsplash provides high quality, royalty free photos for the blog. I’ve created several helpers to make adding unsplash images easier.
brown leopard on top of grey rock

Photo by Geran de Klerk

woman in blue dress sitting on brown dock

Photo by Liliya Lisa

city with skyscraper during night

Photo by Pierpaolo Lanfrancotti

person about to take a picture of gray building

Photo by Robin Benzrihem

assorted-colored eggs

Photo by Monika Grabkowska

people walking along city streets

Photo by Steven Wei

brown wooden houses beside river

Photo by Theodor Lundqvist

time lapse photography of Ferris wheel

Photo by Kinson Leung

six women in purple, green, and black comforter at daytime

Photo by Julie Johnson

selective focus photography of woman in black t-shirt standing on bridge

Photo by Jake Melara

koala sleeping on tree branch

Photo by Jordan Whitt

… aaaand that’s it. I’ve dumped everything else. New theme, new comment system.

New Theme

The clean blog theme was ok, but I had to make changes to include things like tags and social media links, which didn’t quite fit with the whole theme. So I went looking for a new theme, and found the Sparkling Wordpress theme from colorlib. Now the original theme was written for Wordpress, which involves php and I’m not familiar with all the bits of that, so I ended up recreating the theme from scratch.

Bootstrap 4

Sparkling used Bootstrap 3, so I decided to learn Bootstrap to re-implement the style for hexo. After about a day I managed to get most of the site done, which was fast for me, given I hadn’t done any real HTML+CSS work in a very long time. Woooh boy CSS has changed.

Comments

This brings us to the biggest reason for all this change, comments. Originally I was using Disqus for comments, but over time I became dissatisfied with that solution and went looking for something lighter. Last year I mentioned Gitment as a system for having comments as GitHub issues, but the problem with that was that you need a GitHub login to comment.

Staticman Logo

So I decided to switch over to Staticman. Staticman is web app that will take a form post and turn it into a pull-request on a GitHub project, with the data from the form in a data file in the PR. What this means is comments come in as a new file on the blogs repository, and once approved get included in the source files to generate the blog.

(At some point I want to use GitHub actions to then take the blog, build it, and upload it to the host repository, but right now I don’t have access to GitHub actions so that’ll have to be a follow up post.)

2020 ?

That’s it for now. Hopefully things won’t change too much over the next year, but who knows. At least it’ll give me a reason to write another blog post.

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