A number of times in the past I’ve found myself wanting to blog about some of the things I’ve been reading about, thinking about, or working on. Somehow, though, I’ve never managed to make this stick.
Back in 2014/2015 I did manage to get into quite a good habit of blogging about Bitcoin mining but then I ended up busy and the blogging fell aside. I’d also fallen out of love with Joomla as a blogging platform. I think part of the problem is that I will always be a software developer at heart and prepackaged, WYSIWYG, tools that have limited flexibility never quite appealed to me (that and disliking the bloaty databases and slow rendering behind most of them). The next time I did this I’d already decided I needed to be able to do pretty much everything from a command line and with my trusty vim editor (actually in this case MacVim).
The other problem is that I’ve never been entirely satisfied with the idea of just writing a blog. As a designer, I tend to think about how things evolve. The process of creating something is all about changing some part of the world from how it is to some new form we’d prefer it to have (even if these are just small changes). A good blog captures a lot of the change occurring in someone’s thinking but doesn’t necessarily leave a clear view of how that works out. I’m going to try and do something a little different here, and try to capture both.
I tried something similar when I was writing a C++ arbitrary precision maths library called c8. In that instance, I used a GitHub wiki to host my blog notes as I was writing the code and evolving the design, keeping pace alongside the git commits. While it worked, it was a pretty painful experience - maintaining all the links and metadata was just a lot of work.
With this new site, however, I’m going back to hosting on GitHub, but I’m now using Hugo which is very fast and takes just enough of the pain out of the process. Using an electric vehicle analogy, I’m really hoping for it to be more a Tesla than a Sinclair C5, but we’re a bit too early for any would-be motoring critics just yet.
So far, so good, however. I’ve been travelling this week (opening a new R3 Engineering office in Dublin) but it’s only taken a few hours to find the tooling, read the docs, and get something up and running.
And thus, the journey begins!