Refresh 2022

I created this site nearly thirteen years ago with such beautiful ambition and aspiration. If you look at the archive you’ll notice I really didn’t stick to that plan at all. When the mood strikes me, I write and post. Simple. The RSS feed on the side can be a good way to keep a passive tab on me in your favorite RSS feed reader of choice.

A new (semantic) frame

Every time I commit to rebuilding this site I check out the latest and greatest techniques for building websites. Front end wasn’t always my specialty. In fact, I used to lament it all the time. Years ago there was so much nuance when trying to make a consistent design across browsers. However, that has dramatically changed in the last 5 to 10 years. With the death of Internet Explorer and the rise of basically every browser being powered by Webkit. We can expect a general level of consistency across browser experiences now, including even mobile phones.

We also don’t have to use tables for everything like we did in the early 2000s. Very soon we had CSS and DIVs to our hearts content. Then HTML5 brought in a new set of tools to make the web a lot more accessible and more semantic in markup. This even included some specific changes to make ARIA support better. That is largely what you’ll see here now if you peek at the source. I avoided divs and embraced article, aside, main, header, and footer. I’m still slightly confused about roles and will eventually make that better over time.

A new coat of paint

The most recent iteration of this site had me using CSS Grid. Back then, it was a very modern technique. I didn’t have to markup my divs with tons of special classes from a framework in order to properly align and layout everything. However, it was somewhat confusing for me and difficult to grasp. Even with Firefox’s visualizer, I was tinkering a whole lot to make it work. For today’s design, I went full Flexbox and haven’t looked back. I’m still not quite at mastery level and imagine in due time I will get the hang of everything. Two solid days of hacking, tinkering, and livereloads with Hugo got me to the design you now see. I even made it more mobile friendly and need to work on the menu when things shrink down to phone screens. That will be for another day when I can spend some time looking into it.

I’ve redone the icons since they didn’t quite work in the previous design. I’ll re-think more of the color scheme later as well. I’m a fan of dark mode these days and I don’t mind the ligher side of things.

But, why?

I know there are many free templates out there, yet I always choose to build this blog on my own. Some of that is stubbornness. The bigger drive is curiosity and discovery of what the web has to offer today. I’m still a software developer and technologist to this day and I’ll be damned if I won’t feel joy from getting to play with shiny new tech toys. I’m proud that I continue this sort of weird tradition here.

Looking forward to the rest of 2022 and hope things go a lot better than 2020 and 2021. Until then, stay safe out there.