About the site

This site has been through several incarnations. It’s always been a static site, but the choice of generator has changed several times.

The first version, which I posted in late 2012, was built with Octopress. Maintaining a working Ruby setup for Octopress was a lot of hassle, so a year or so later I switched to the Python-based Pelican. That worked fairly well, but the AGPL and licensing issues always loomed overhead. In 2016, I experimented with writing my own site generator (called Hot Chocolate), but I just spent a lot of time reinventing wheels.

The current version is back to Ruby and Jekyll, but wrapped in Docker to simplify the day-to-day build process. What you see today is powered by:

and all the site source code is on GitHub.

Between the Wayback Machine and my screenshots, I’ve put together a short visual history of what the site used to look like. Feast your eyes on my evolving skills in mediocre web design.

Current

This is what the current homepage looks like:

Late 2014: The first red stripe

Unsatisfied with the bubbly menu in the previous design, I did another version of the site that added a red stripe across the top. I’ve tweaked this design quite a bit since the first version — the stripe became a less orangey red, I kept reducing the vertical height, and switched to a serif font — but the basic idea has remained the same.

At some point I added the speckled background to the header, which I’ve really liked, but it falls back to a solid red stripe if the image doesn’t load.

Early 2014: What is that sidebar?

The site went through another redesign and two font changes in 2014, as well as a sidebar that aged badly. If I’d put anything more useful there it might have worked, but it just had the links that had been in the header. This only lasted a few months before I moved the sidebar back into the header, and then redesigned the site again.

2013: A big name design

The first major redesign introduced the red-and-white that’s been a common theme ever since, along with a name in the header that seems ridiculously large to me today.

Late 2012: Octopress

The original site was a lightly modified version of the default Octopress theme, with a blue tint that didn’t last. I’m pretty sure I had a red version of this theme, but neither the Wayback Machine nor my screenshots provide any evidence that it existed.