I have spent much of my time attempting to create the perfect personal website.
Me being who I am, I was unsatisfied with the nuetered personal website services
out there, both in price and ability. I wanted to create something that I could
truly control. This meant, of course, writing the website in pure HTML and CSS
and hosting the website personally. In the persuit of this ‘perfect’ personal website,
I ran into several difficulties. Hosting the website on my home network is both
illegal and dangerous, leaving me susceptible to online attack. I remember actually sitting in front of a monitor hooked up to my incredibly ruedementary raspberrpi-driven webserver, running hosting software I wrote myself,
when I saw the device receiving hundreds and hundreds of
get requests, over and over.
After promptly unplugging the server, I decided I needed a better option.
That is when I came accross github’s new personal website hosting ability. It was absolutely perfect for what I needed. Not only was it free hosting for my html files, but it also allowed me the somewhat snazzy domain name of “curtisbucher.github.io” My first couple of attempts at github-hosted websites were simple html files of my own design, swapped in for github’s default ‘index.html’ at the root. I was barely scratching the surface of github’s capability. After soon becomming sick of editing raw html every time I wanted to add a new project to my website or add a new blog post, I learned that github supported this cool new framework called “jekyll”, conjuring mental images of one of my favorite books of all time. Jekyll allows you to write raw markdown files that it converts to html, and supports the “liquid” framework for adding data to static sites! It was perfect! It was everything I could ever ask for in creating a personal website! I set out to learn as much about jekyll as possible and over the course of a day, I created a gorgeous-looking personal website, that I could edit and change from the comfort of my own terminal, without editing raw html. It is scalable and perfect. Not only that, but for the first time, the ease of use in editing jekyll websites makes it conveniant enough to blog that I can justify the time spent. Frankly it’s exciting that I am sitting here at my terminal, writing a blog in the form of a raw markdown file, that I cna instantly commit and share with the world! I may be exxagerating when I say this, but I beleive that jekyll is the perfect tool in acheiving Tim Berners-Lee’s ideal image of the perfect web. One where creating ideas are shared and everyone has a platform to share their ideas. I am aware of services such as blogger, or wordpress, that allow you to fill out a couple forms, and pay a monthly fee, and put yourself on the web, but this is new, it is perfect. It allows the user all the flexibility and beutiful control that comes from writing an entire scalable website by scratch. With the ease and comfort of being able to edit it from the terminal. The only question now,
Where too next?
My plans for my website are as follows. I will attempt to continue blogging. Writing down my ideas and thoughts for everyone to see. Right now my home screen is the only page populated with html, so I will need to make a nice UI for reading my blog posts, for now though, a simple html list will suffice. No one is reading this anyway. I also need to populate my home page with content. Write now the articles about my projects are filled with “blah blah blah” and similer filler, so I need to get around to changing that.
This is off topic, but I seem to be rambling anway. Why do we enjoy blogging and writing down our thoughts to the expansive unavigable web, when we know that no one will read them anway? Is it the simple joy of knowing that someone out there may eventually stumble accross this page in their strolls accross the expanse of the internet? Is it the slight hope that this blog will become incredibly popular as so many had before? Or is this blogs complete obscurity what makes it so fun? The idea that I am writing to everyone, and at the same time, I am writing to no one. Anyone can read this but no one will. I do enjoy the lack of pressure in my writing. I don’t have to worry about spelling mistakes or improper grammar when I know that no one will read this, much less an english teacher. Really it is a weight off my shoulder. Frankly, I am not even sure that this site is accessible to web crawlers. Then again it probably is. If you are reading this you can be sure it is. And if you by some mirical have read this entire thing, please shoot me an email, the link is at the bottom of the homepage. I would sure like to hear from you, and I have yet to figure out how to enable commenting on my blog posts.