Andrew tries the blogging thing, take four (Or is it five?)

So it turns out if I go more than a year without completely remaking my blog, I get bored.

It began as a Tumblr blog. I switched to WordPress shortly after, and then eventually moved on to a Jekyll-powered static site. I was quite happy with my Jekyll setup, but it was getting… stale. I’m ready to try something new.

There are two primary reasons for this site’s existence. First, as a web developer who still has much to learn, I’m always eager to experiment with new techniques and tools. This site has been a great sandbox for me to play in. Now in its fourth iteration, it is built using Wintersmith, a static-site generator powered by Node.js. Other tools include:

  • Sass, a CSS extension language and pre-processor.
  • Compass, a Sass stylesheet framework.
  • Susy, a Compass plugin for responsive grids.
  • CoffeeScript, a programming language that compiles to JavaScript.
  • Grunt, a task runner for JavaScript.
  • Git, for version control.

You can check out the source code at this site’s GitHub repo.

The second reason is that it gives me a place to write. Writing is a valuable, oft under-appreciated skill and one that I’m always hoping to improve. I’m not a great writer by any means, but I enjoy having a place to verbally express my ideas.

A curation note: I haven’t fully transitioned all my old posts to this new set-up. This is partly a technical issue. For example, many of my old posts used Markdown Extra-style footnotes, but Wintersmith generates Markdown with marked.js, which doesn’t support footnotes. This is a fixable problem though a problem still.

But besides that, I’ve decided that I simply don’t want to transfer most of my old posts. First of all, the link posts don’t really fit the tone of this blog — I have no aspirations to be John Gruber (although, damn, that would be cool). The bigger reason is that in retrospect, frankly, a lot of it is a rather embarassing. The politically-themed posts have aged especially poorly. I guess that’s not surprising. I’m still stupid and naive, and I totally expect in a few years to look back on my writing now (perhaps even this very post!) and cringe. Maybe it’s a flaw in my personality that I’m so ashamed of the things my younger self wrote. But oh well. This is a learning process, not a school assignment. My attitude is that my posts are like longform tweets. That’s the manner in which I intend to keep writing here, hopefully with a greater frequency than in the past.