Yearly Refresh Time!
I don't know if it's the digital form of spring cleaning, or if there's a standing need to clean things up and keep them looking nicely, but I found it time this weekend to update the visual and functional aspects of my blog. With that being said, welcome to ballpointcarrot.net, version...4, I think? I haven't done a terribly good job of keeping an active archive, and haven't consulted the Internet Archive to see if they have any of the previous iterations.
With the new layout comes a new backend engine for producing the contents - I've moved from Octopress (which, while nice, dictated a structure and tooling a little more than necessary) to a Node.js static site generator called Harp.
Because this is a site generator first, the structure used for blog-like things, such as tags, feeds, etc. come as extras; It took a little bit of searching to find a theme and pattern I liked, and still didn't fit 100%. Fortunately, because of the flexibility provided, I adjusted the structure of how data was read and inserted, and made it truly my own.
About the new platform
As I mentioned, the base of the new platform is Harp. The base theme is a port of Casper, which is the default theme for the Ghost blogging platform. In addition, I've added a more flexible syntax highlighting library called Prism to help with code snippets (which I'll be able to use more frequently, I'm hoping!).
christopher.blog_upgrade = true;
Overall, the site is still set to run on GitHub Pages; I appreciate that they allow hosting like that, and moreover, allow the Hostname redirection that they do.
Migration of the actual data from the old platform to the new one worked pretty well. As they say, the best knowledge transfer medium is plain text. No reading from databases, no conversions; just a little bit of modification of the markdown files in one platform to the other.
Now the question - will he keep updating it?
That will remain to be seen. I had a goal of writing every two days; we saw how well that went. But, I've been working on teaching myself new things in the intervening time, and I think it may prove to be good not just for me, but for people reading, to start putting my thoughts to paper, so to speak.
I'm cautiously optimistic that I can do a better job of updating things. We'll see if I can make a pattern out of it.