Pietro Albini

Hey, that's a blog!

Written on September 3, 2016.

This might look differ­ent than it was since two years ago. Well, I finally updated my website with a new, cleaner style and a brand new blog! In this post I’ll explain a bit more how this was made, and what I will write in there.

The painful redesign process

I’m not very good at design­ing things (there is a reason I like back­ends so much!), and it took me about a year of iter­a­tions to finally get this design final­ized. I made some­thing like five or six differ­ent styles from scratch, and the day after I always said “No, I don’t like this at all”.

I prefer clean, fast websites than a rich user expe­ri­ence with megabytes of JavaScript just to show one blog post, and each iter­a­tion I simpli­fied the design even more. This website now has no JavaScript in it, about 120 lines of uncom­pressed CSS (and just 23 selec­tors), no media query, but it still looks good, both on desk­top and on mobile.

Static generators for the win!

I think the right way to build a blog is to use a static gener­a­tor: having a web appli­ca­tion gener­at­ing the same pages for every­one every­time is just a waste of compute resources, and you can stuff a bunch of static HTML files in a webserver and get the same result.

There is another advan­tage of static gener­a­tors: in most of them, the “data­base” is a bunch of text files (com­monly Mark­down) you can edit however you like with the editor you want, and you can store the whole website in a git repository.

There are a lot of static gener­a­tors out there, and most of them put focus on creat­ing blogs (like Jekyll, Pelican, and many more) with a pre-de­fined struc­ture. I chose a rela­tively new one called Lektor, which instead tries to create some­thing you can customize from the ground up.

Other than that, if you don’t like play­ing around with VIM as much as I do, Lektor provides a great admin UI you can use to edit and deploy the website, which is perfect for every­one not famil­iar with text editors or git. I highly recom­mend to check it out!

A peek at the source code

As always, you can find the full source code and instruc­tions about how to build the website in its public git repository. Both the source files and the content of the posts are released under the Creative Commons Attri­bu­t­ion 4.0 license.

What I will write there

So, every­thing is great, I have a new blog, but what I’m going to post there? Well, some­times I’ll announce some­thing (like new project­s), and I’d like to write down some­where how I solve some prob­lems with program­ming or Linux.

I hope I’ll remem­ber to post things some­times (every­one knows I tend to forget every­thing, right?). See you soon!

Pietro.