So, back when I started this up, I sort of chose the easy route, and wanted a CMS (Content Management System) to write new posts. Having had it all the way up to here -mimes vaguely at the neck- with Wordpress sites (a different story) and having read so recently about SSGs (Static Site Generators) I found Netlify and shamelessly copied used an existing Hugo site from their template list as the basis for my own site.

To cut a pretty long and frustrating story short, I didn’t get on with Netlify, even though it seems like a good tool. So, I looked around and found, which I really like for being a clean and easy method to deliver new posts.

At some point over 2023, Forestry was mothballed in favour of their new product, TinaCMS. For some unknown reason (read: I don’t like change) migrating wasn’t as simple an option for me as their team probably wanted. I tried migrating, didn’t get on with it, left the blog in stasis as I was fairly busy with other stuff. It’s fine, I don’t need some of the cool features, it was really only there as E-Z-Mode for me.

Some time passes, and a friend points out that the pagination button has a really unfriendly colour scheme… image
… So I wade into the config files to try and find how to do it. To summarise an embarassingly long time, I needed to set a font colour in the class that handles the pagination function.

And then I realise that the abbreviated posts in the posts list aren’t displaying the way I thought they would be. Hugo, in case you don’t know, uses Markdown format behind the scenes with some Golang templating to create the static files it needs to serve the website. In the process of creating new posts, it was templating the content out incorrectly, and breaking the formatting. Luckily, and part of the beauty that is SSGs, all the posts are here in the repository, so I could just go through and fix the randomly incorrect formatting and it’s like it never happened!

Much much much later, I’ve updated the whole theme, removed all references to Forestry, TinaCMS and even a Netlify that had been left behind. I’ve also managed to work out why the front page was showing the date as 2006-01-02 | :: Author while the /posts page was displaying the separator correctly (2006-01-02 :: Author), even though the default view is to show the /posts page. I somehow managed to create an entire index.html in the root of the project which… just… didn’t need to be there. Truly, dear reader, I don’t know.

Something else I’ve done is change the way that the Dockerfile builds; basically I’ve been working more in the last few months with a couple of NodeJS-based projects and understand - and by understand, I mean I’m scratching the surface - more about the package managers.

In the process of doing this, I’ve learned quite a bit more about my site and how it goes together, even if what I’ve learned is that I have no idea about how CSS/SCSS works and I frankly don’t have the inclination to find out! I’ve also got some features that I’m thinking about implementing in the future:

  • improved image support (this one’s mostly for me, as you may be able to tell from the first-ever embedded image);
  • comments per post, even if that is potentially a dangerous move. It’ll probably be Disqus just because that offloads the burden of logins and spam control to someone else;
  • additional languages - I had a crack at one already but nothing worked quite how I expected it to, so that’ll be an adventure.

I’m aching from doing a bit of gardening over the weekend, and I have some work to be getting on with, so I’ll bid you good day and a good week.

P.S.: After all that I still didn’t get the image embedding right first time. There’s time yet