Johan wrote this
@ 2021-10-05

New Beginnings

Well, wouldn’t you know it! The ol’ homepage has a new face. You’ve probably stared at your RSS feed for a good long while, impatiently tapping your foot, wondering “why hasn’t Johan updated with his yearly-ish blog post” and I’m here to tell you that I had good reason! Many good reasons in fact, the biggest of which was, I, uh, ilstmysrcode.

You what

I SAID, ilostmysourcecode.

Didn’t quite catch that

I LOST MY SOURCE CODE OKAY! Now please stop being such a dick about it. It happens to everyone. Well, almost everyone. It happens to some people, at least. The thing is, I made the old site when GitHub wasn’t free and I was already at the limit for private repositories and I’m incredibly cheap and didn’t want to plonk the $7/mo, and then I had a Bitbucket account and a GitLab account and then I rotated my SSH key and couldn’t push and then and then and then and POINT BEING that proper source control is apparently something I do at work but not at home. I’ve fixed that now. Nothing like some good old-fashioned data loss to really snap you out of your torpor. I painstakingly copy-pasted HTML from my old site and reformatted my posts into Markdown again. Re-saved the images.

If we’re being honest though: the old site was really bare-bones. If you look at most developers’ personal homepages they’re usually very minimalist. For good reason! You’re always adding trackers and sidebars and complex hamburger menus at your day job, and every day you think to yourself “man, I’d sure love to take the knife to most of this cruft and maybe the site would be fast again” and you bring that ethos to the site where you’re in complete control. Can’t fault that impulse. No more of that 150k minified append-only CSS! No more fucking Google font stylesheets: system fonts only, baby! Max-width, font size, link color, call it a day.

The end result, however, gets kind of samey. Don’t get me wrong: I still want lean and mean and I don’t want too much going on, but if I just did the “dark grey text on white background” I wouldn’t be challenging myself. I wanted something a little more interesting than your run-of-the-mill developer blog, so this new site has a frontpage with some faux vaporwave going on, nicer fonts (subset and self-hosted, like gentlemen do) and a JS starfield that I honestly spent a little too long on. Realtime programming is fun in a way that’s hard to mimic on the backend. The site also has my beautiful face plastered all over it. Because, real talk, I may be 41 but I’m still hot. I concede nothing to the calendar. I should do a shirtless pic next, because although there’s a dash of sophistication from just the silver temples, the package as a whole is

Stop, we get it, please stop

So another thing I have here is a little backlog of posts! I furiously wrote one in early 2020 and, to my dismay, found that I couldn’t post it because of that embarrassing source code thing. So I resolved to quickly rewrite the site.

Well, “quickly” my ass.

I instead fell into the world’s worst yak shave: I like Middleman, but it always felt a little rickety. So I wrote a simple static site generator that I called Wobbegong, and got like 80% of the way on that until I came up with the idea for Grundler on an inspired walk home. Grundler eventually got released! But it’s pretty useless without a fingerprinting tool. So I built that too, it’s called Stomper and I should probably release that too, but I’ve held off because Stomper was really crying out for a Rails integration and uh, that’s actually done, but testing it is onerous and I sort of lost steam. If I come off sounding like a complete caricature of a developer building his own site, well, I don’t know what to tell you except “yeah.”

You released it now, though

I did. I forced myself to stop the infrastructure wankery, and focused on making a design that I could get into Middleman. And a few evenings later, here we are. It’s not done, I guess. We’ll see! But at least I can publish blog posts now so I’ll try to drip-feed my backlog here over the coming months. They’ll be posted with their original date, so the latest feed will probably be fucked up, and… I have nobody but myself to blame.

That should go on my gravestone.