How this site is made

Besides giving me a place to publish the things I make for fun and share stuff I hope will be useful to other people, I hand write this website as an exercise in itself. In the past 20 years (!) my sites have gone through a lot of iterations on the tech stack side - the longest era being a 2012-2017 rails app on Heroku. Why build a site when there are far easier ways to do it (I ask this myself often)... is to have a place for me to experiment with the new technology.

Right now, the stack/tools that most interest me are static sites, with pre-built markup and re-usable APIs (esp. for getting content), and then client-side javascript for most of the rest of what happens (in the request/response cycle). That lets sites be very fast and light. I'm trying out Metalsmith and Handlebars as the a pre-processor / parser in the front that goes through and builds things, and Contentful, an API based content infrastructure that lets you model repeatable structures easily. This means all the tedious custom-cms and schema-writing I used to do is now done in a GUI over there, and the content just comes out as a json blob, basically. Much nicer. And I'm really enjoying Netlify, a static-focused deploy platform with continuous integration (that replaced Heroku for me). I'm also really liking using Bulma, a css-based framework on top of flexbox, for styling (instead of bootstrap or similar).

So far I'm really having a lot of fun, mostly because of my obsession with publishing systems. (I'd also like to incorporate some of the ideas from programmable books / Pollen.)

If you have any suggestions for interesting things to try along these lines, send me a note! (Contact info below.) Thanks for reading!