Rebuilding this website

Mon Aug 03 2020

Table of Contents

Introduction

The old front page

The redesigned front page

Restoring existing functionality

Learning the templating language

Writing custom filters

Parsing Markdown snippets

"Cool URIs don't change" consistently emphasises the need for URIs not to change, mainly because someone may have bookmarked your post's old URL and it would be terrible if they couldn't find it any more. Eleventy's default paths when generating posts was different from Jekyll's, so I made sure to point the URLs to the same place by putting

permalink: "/2020/08/03/blog-rebuild-2020/"

in the YAML front matter.

The "Cool URIs don't change" post recommends indexing by the creation date of the document, as it is one thing that doesn't change. "If a document is in any way dated, even though it will be of interest for generations, then the date is a good starter." It recommends a URI like http://www.w3.org/1998/12/01/chairs, which is indeed what Jekyll uses by default.

The post further writes "the only exception is a page which is deliberately a "latest" page for, for example, the whole organization or a large part of it", for instance, http://www.pathfinder.com/money/moneydaily/latest gives the latest version of the "Money daily" column in "Money" magazine. If you want to link to the content, however, one would link to it where it appears separately in the archives as

http://www.pathfinder.com/money/moneydaily/1998/981212.moneyonline.html.

In my case the "latest" pages are the index pages: home, about, projects, archive, etc, and most of the rest of the blog posts are dated.

For some of my work, I am considering following Gwern's example to make URIs indexed by a topic sentence: for instance,

https://www.gwern.net/Ethical-sperm-donation

links to a page entitled "The Morality of Sperm Donation". The pages are constantly updated: while the page was first written in 2012, the last major update to the page was in 2018. This makes sense for Gwern's "long content": the date of document creation is irrelevant because the pages are constantly updated. I don't have much long content on the site yet, but I hope to start writing some soon. I think the explorations and explanations would be good candidates.

Improving the website

Adding a dark mode

Revamping the projects page

Supporting Markdown table of contents and footnotes

Rendering LaTeX, and moving from MathJax to KaTeX

Things I still need to do

Fix broken post links

Sites and blogs I drew reference from

Practical Typography

gwern.net

Reasonable Deviations

Iain Bean

Conclusion