I finally updated my website. I had been procrastinating it for years but the old website was already looking pretty dated and was hard to read.

I got rid of Wordpress and installed a simpler system. Not that I don’t like Wordpress, it’s a pretty nice content management system and it served me well for many years. But I wanted a system that was very simple, and allowed me to write without having to think too much about the layout or get distracted by constantly tweaking the presentation, or finding the right plugin to display the content. My ideal system is plain‑text with a minimal amount of markup. For years I considered markdown, but never got around to using it, but at the beginning of the year, I discovered asciidoctor.

Asciidoctor is awesome; and if you combine it with using utf‑8 text in your editor, you can minimize the amount of markup needed.

Jekyll and the jekyll‑asciidoctor plugin seemed to provide a system simple enough that I could hack my way around it and also powerful enough that I could try to get a good design.

I spent some nights and weekends hacking on the website, carefully converting all the old content from a mashup of Wordpress HTML and various Wordpress plugins into plain Asciidoctor. I spent some more time carefully designing the website and typography and now I’m finally done. It’s enough better that I’m just going to launch it and see what happens.

I’ll explain the typographical decisions and design in a later post. It’s pretty fascinating. In the meantime…

The Song Remains The Same

Some things changed and some things stayed the same.

I preserved all URLs the best of my knowledge. If you find a URL that was working before and now gives a “not found” error, please let me know and I’ll fix it. Except for image URLs, if you were deep‑linking to an image you’re screwed — but deep‑linking is rude so I don’t really care.

I also tried very hard to keep the feed from showing all the old posts as new but at some point it was more work than I wanted to tackle. So if you were subscirbed to the feed, you’ll probably see a bunch of really old articles as new. I apologize for that.

The typography should be ridiculously better. My main goal in redesigning the website was to get all the crud and distractions out of the way so the content was easy to understand. If you have to use Readability or Safari’s Reader mode with my website, I’ve failed and I’d like to hear about it.

Another important change is that I’m now redirecting all traffic to https. We have the computer power to encrypt all communications, so let’s do it.

There are still things missing. For instance, there is no search function. I don’t have a good answer, so for now you’ll have to rely on a search engine.

That’s it for now. Until the next update (which I promise won’t take a year).