December 10, 2015

Pardon my dust

The last year has seen a lot of changes to this site. Colour schemes were fiddled with, some bells and whistles were added – others were removed – fonts were replaced, etc. And then I sat down and got a grip on the whole damn thing, which led to what you are currently looking at. I cleaned up, and rewrote where necessary, the CSS and used Vladimir Agafonkin’s dead simple grid to handle responsiveness (in twelve lines of CSS - twelve!). The choice of typefaces, or fonts as you people insist on calling them, was cause for hand wringing and floor pacing: I can not justify almost a MB of fontage for my witterings, so Georgia and Helvetica / Arial won the day there. I could not, however, live with Courier for code snippets, so I did indulge myself in some Source Code Pro for those. I do hope you can live with the additional bandwidth burden. If you can’t, the font is in its own stylesheet (font.css) which you can disable. I may have more to say about the fact that after all this internet time I can still really only rely on Georgia, Arial, Verdana et al.

Javascript has now been done away with completely, which brings me great solace. I’m not sure just what I have against JS, but I do think that the web is a better place without the stuff. Please feel free to remind me of this if you ever spot any creeping back in here.

The <head> template that I use for each page got a thorough scouring, and is the better for it. Gone are a legion of favicons in formats particular to Apple and Microsoft, replaced by a single, old skool, favicon.ico. Long may it reign. The ‘author’ <meta> tag also got the bullet. (It dawned upon me that that information might be adequately conveyed in a url that begins with my name.)

In short, I got rid of a lot of stuff that I thought I needed to have. Each little piece of added complexity seemed to beget another, and I suppose that’s how wars start.

The biggest change, and the one that lead to the overhaul, is that I am now using Hakyll to generate the site. This was a pragmatic decision, made easy by wanting to use Pandoc to handle as much of my markdown conversion as possible. The switch to Hakyll precipitated a month’s journey into the realm of Haskell, its insistence that everything can be expressed as a function, the lambda calculus, the theories of Church and Curry and the fundamentals of logic. I’m not the better of it yet.

The feed link, below, still leads to an atom feed. I have added an RSS one, which you can find at feed.rss. I scrapped any analytics on this site a long while ago, so I have no idea if I have any feed subscribers. If I do, I say “Hello” to you and ask you to please accept my apologies for the noisy burst of new-but-not-really-new-at-all items showing up on the feed with the newly published site.