Improving skagedal's oboy
So far during 2023, I have blogged about two software projects. First a series of writing a habit tracker (summarized here), and then a little investigation on Testcontainers (starting here). I plan more posts in both series, but right now I’d like to turn my attention to another project: this blog.
Obviously, there is no tech blog like this that doesn’t at some point start to discuss itself and the software that manages it. Sooner or later, you start writing your own custom blog software.
I don’t plan to do that now, but I have before. I started my first blog at some point in the early 2000’s and wrote a little tool to serve it that I called “blogdans”, named after the old Swedish barn dance custom. It was written in Python and stored contents in a PostgreSQL database running on helgo.net, but I don’t think it supported much more than posts with a plain title and body.
I later moved to use the Blosxom software, and had both a blog that I think I called “Simon’s blog” and a blog about my psychology studies that I was doing at the time.
Later on in the 00’s and 10’s, I used Blogspot (Tjohej, tjohej and various group blogs) and Wordpress (skagedal and processer and maybe some others) and I guess I also had a Live Journal at some point.
Then in 2017, I felt the urge to write about some code, but if I remember correctly was unimpressed by Wordpress’s support for syntax hightlighting and so on, and instead turned to publishing on Github using Jekyll, which was the style at the time. A bit later, I moved that to its own domain, which is what you’re looking at now (unless I’ve moved it again).
It would be fun to at some point bring all those old posts in under the same roof. But I’m not so sure there’s much of value.
Most of all, I’d like to improve some things about the current blog. I’m pretty happy with having a minimalist design, but there are some things I think would be nice to improve:
- The blog tool shouldn’t print lots of warnings when I build and deploy
- I’d like to improve the styles I can use within the blog content. Tables and quotes look really bad right now, and I’d like to have some nice custom blocks, like callouts and stuff.
- Something to keep series together. Maybe just tags, I guess?
- I’d like to have a little blurb for each post that shows on the main page.
- It should show a nice little byline with my face when the page is wide enough
- The main page at skagedal.tech should also be generated by the same static-site generator and maybe include some “featured articles”
- Maybe publish to ActivityPub automatically?
Let’s see where this goes!