pbe: setting up basics
2023-11-30 . 776 words . 4 min
The term "PBE" is a play on the an acronym IDE i.e. Integrated Development Environment and abbreviation for "personalized blogging environment". The core idea of the post to check on all personalizations I wanted to do on this blogging setup and also stay as reference to how certain elements on the website might behave.
why the hell did it take you 10 months to do this?
It did not. After I wrote the first post, I started burning my energy on my day job which was interesting and hectic to say the least. There were lot of things for me to learn and a lot of time was spent fixing stuff for work. Meanwhile, my development workflow has changed a lot
- moved to todo.txt for tracking tasks (from paper notes)
- started a custom daily log setup with bash magic
- stopped using pinboard and hacked some bash to create a terminal bookmark-er
- bash-ed time-logging chores required at work to reduce cognitive load
At this point though, all these have become a mush and need maintenance, so I'm trying to revive the blog and in a devlog approach fix these mushy items into clean interfaces which allow me to go faster on my day to day.
i wonder if the site wasn't as raw?
When I started this website, I used Zola Overview 1 to get started with the base content and styling which is the rudimentary setup that one should ideally start their personalization journey from. I've always admired minimalistic portfolio/websites2 of Danluu, Tom MacWright and Xe Iaso. (I want to confess that I avoid tinkering CSS as much as possible). I leaned towards styling from "even better motherf***ing site" 3 with a few tweaks; added below and it looks good.
font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
margin: 5% auto;
border-bottom: 1px solid #444444;
i wonder if site would refresh when I push push
I use Cloudflare DNS to manage the domain
hrmnjt.dev and there were 2 easy options for me to run a continuous deployment flow - Github Actions + Github Pages or Cloudflare Pages. I chose latter to try this out. Steps that one has to follow are from Cloudflare Pages Docs. It executes the build process on every commit and creates a staging and production link 4.
i wonder if there was a better way to find content
Zola has sane and easy defaults for
page templates and at this point of time I don't think I need anything more than this for content on this website. This means navigation can be super simple and easy.
Right now, we have three places to navigate to
indextemplate and routes to root of website
sectiontemplate and routes to all post list
pagetemplate and routes to individual post. This is also what I suppose will be centerpiece.
is there a feed, sitemap? what happens on a random url? will this appear on google search?
Zola already solves for most of above as out-of-box options. Feed, sitemap and robot.txt are default generated if configured based on documentation5. Adding these options and few lines of code in templates made it easy to finish this item from checklist.
are you done?
There is a famous ad jingle for Pepsi which says, "Dil maaange more!", which loosely translates to infinite wishes. Site is functional, blogs are readable and this is a good target for me to get going with some actual blog ideas which are pending.
I shall come back to improve my PBE and the list of improvement item may include (not exhaustively) favicons, theme colors, canonical links, interesting titles, OpenGraph tags, minimal search, and CSS styling to improve image width, block-quotes, tables and footnotes.
Zola Overview is a "quick start" for Zola following which one can create a minimal blogging theme which is good enough.
evenbettermotherf***ing.website has a simple CSS suggestion which emphasizes on minimalism.