Blog

What I Want from A Website

7/20/2020

Hi... Welcome... Hello, world!

I wish I had anything useful to say, but I don't; not just yet. This is my personal website and blog and I have no idea what to do with it.

I know what a website should do. I've read a ton of recommendations for how to build sales-funnels, promotions, and how to use a website to show off personal work. But I just kinda want a place to ramble... as well as maybe, eventually somewhere to promote myself. Maybe. Although if it does all stay personal ramblings, maybe not.

I'm not interested in any of that marketing/promotion stuff yet. I really just want to focus on organising my thoughts and my life. It's kind of a mess... So, does that mean this will be more like a journal than a "blog"? Once upon a time, blogs tended to be more informal and journal-like, but - and maybe this is just the ones I read - they seem to be more informative and deeply discussive. I'm certainly not there yet. Used to think of myself as a writer, but I reckon I'm far too out of practice.

We'll get there. I have a lot I want to say. I want to talk about films and video games eventually, from a set of media theory perspectives. I want to share useful tutorial-like information for developing websites and apps (this is where my career pivoted to about a decade ago). I want to collect useful... information and tools for myself, many of my own making, like... a sortable, searchable library of the content I own; a portfolio of my most interesting, up-to-date works; and just... stuff. Things.

We'll get onto things like more involved discussions about the media I love. I want to talk about The Last of Us, having just finished the sequel, to put out there what I think the story means and what it does for me... I want to talk about what I've previously called "quantum pantheism", which was a silly effort to formalise a set of scientifically informed philosophical and theological thoughts; so yeah, I absolutely want a space for philosophy. I want a place to quickly access titbits and code snippets that I find useful and others might too. Oh, and I obviously want to talk about my choices to build this blog using a framework called Nuxt and its content plugin, @nuxt/content. I spent a long time deciding on the correct framework for my blog, and I have a lot to say about the comparisons that could be made between Nuxt and other popular frameworks. We'll get to that...

I am happy with that choice, by the way, but I'm still... circling on some thoughts about best practices. Just to clue you in a little, @nuxt/content stores blog files in a /content directory with the website's code (traditionally, blog content would be stored in a separate database). This means that content gets committed to version control, which is excellent... but... arguably this pollutes the versioning of the codebase. For example, I might say we're gearing up to my blog version 2.0 and it has some heavy code changes... but then mixed in with these code changes are commits for content files. The development history then is a mix of informative code changes and less-informative (from a development perspective) content additions. The flip side is that including the content in the repository means it's immediately easy for a developer (me) to investigate any content-related issue. ... I wonder if this dichotomy might be resolved by having a "dev" branch and a "content" or "final" branch... 🤔 And then it's thoughts like that that hold me back from publishing this first blog entry, because if I don't decide then the git history will already be polluted one way or the other.

Imma take a walk...

Technically, difference of purpose for git branches isn't out of the ordinary. I'm a follower of a paradigm that maybe you have a 'master' branch and a 'dev' branch, where 'dev' is ahead of 'master' and maybe contains unfinished features... but a 'dev' and 'publish' branch isn't exactly out of the ordinary, either. GitHub Pages, for example, utilises a 'gh-pages' branch for the publishable version of a website repository. Theoretically, it could contain entirely different work... though that's not really the git way.

What I'm trying to decide is... do I commit content straight to my main branch, or do I avoid that and instead have a branch that's upstream of master, one which has master changes merged in but also features my content.

Yeah, I think that sounds good. That sounds clean to me.

But... this really doesn't matter that much for now. I think, just for the time being, I'm going to take the simpler approach of just committing to master. All content for the site is stored in the /content folder, so it should be easily removed from git history if I change my mind. Let's not overcomplicate things before we really get started though.

And with that decided... Hi... Welcome... Hello, world! I can go ahead and publish this now...