2020 Site Relaunch

What Changed, and Further Goals

I’ve launched a new version of my site! This is the first major change since 2017. My goal was to build a tech stack on which I could later improve, and which would support new and ongoing projects.

This started because I wanted to learn how to make a progressive web app, but then I realized that I first wanted a site worthy of progressing! I’ve also come to realize that my creative contributions, even small ones like blog posts, Moonlings, mazes, etc, make me feel good, and make for as good a pastime as any. I can do all these things through my site, if I first establish a good foundation.

I’ll highlight the changes, and then some future goals.

Node and AWS

The old site used PHP, which I’ve grown less and less fond of over the years. This time I used Node.js, which was new to me. I switched from a more traditional homepage host to AWS, which is much more capable, and much more complex. But it supports Node, and the party seems to be at AWS so it was good to learn.

Notes

I’ve added a new Notes feature, which is a microblog like Twitter, but just for me. Why have a microblog on my site instead of just using Twitter? Well I don’t like to read Twitter! Our public discourse is toxic, it’s childish, and full of propaganda and advertisements. It’s mentally taxing to parse all of that, and I understand if you feel differently, but it’s revolting to me. For now I want to post and not read.

I’m also interested in POSSE (Publish [on your] Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere). I think the web was healthier when it wasn’t primarily three websites. Owning and controlling my content appeals to me, and I can still syndicate to aggregators since realistically, I know people will not come to my domain just for my notes.

Maze Integration

My mazes are now more integrated with my site, the nav appearing at the top of each one. For an even more sophisticated integration, mazes are able to theme their page, as I’ve done with Twenty-Four Islands.

Cool URIs

Oldie but a goodie. I always wanted to honor Sir Tim Beners-Lee’s notion that Cool URIs don't change, so this time, I did! I kept what I could, but wanted to remove some pesky .php extensions from some resources, so I took the extra step of making the old URIs forward to the new ones with an appropriate 301. I hope to maintain the new addresses indefinitely.

Goals

Overall, I’m happy with what I’ve done and excited about doing even more. My website has always been a gratifying personal project, and I hope it will be even more so in the future.

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