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Website update

First up: This isn't done. I really need to spend some time focusing on readability, for instance.

I've been using the static website generators Jekyll and Hugo for a few years, but now I've spent the last week or so moving back to what I had before - a dynamic website with a database, and so far I'm very happy with the move back.

Static websites and me

The reason I moved to Jekyll before was probably because I got sold on the idea of it being simple and easy. For me it wasn't, though. While I like the idea of "just" having a git repository, easy cloning, (arguably easy) deployments and few dependencies, I often found myself fiddling a lot to present what I had in my head.

In other words, I just couldn't find any flow. I need this space to be open for creative stuff, and I couldn't get that with these tools.

Not sure if the issue is me not understanding the tools or if they just aren't made for what I want them to do.

Dynamic websites and me

I have a lot of different interests, and I want to use my site to share a lot of different things. I've done a lot of photography, for instance, and I want to easily be able to share these photos with friends or with the world. If I ever get into audio stuff I want to easily share these things in a way that makes sense for that medium.

With what I've got now I've already managed to get a workflow going with sharing photos with classmates from my community college theater class. For this I upload a bunch of photos with different resolutions to my Minio instance with an mc cp one-line command, the website here automatically imports new directories from Minio in the background, and then I go in and say which of the photos I want to share. I can create a new album in a minute.

Back to Jekyll...

Sharing photos with Jekyll was a bit awkward. I guess I could do the same thing with importing the images on build time, work around it with javascript, or put the photos in the git repository - but that makes the repository huge and cumbersome.

What I did with Jekyll was to uploaded the photos separately and put the filenames in the Jekyll templates. But then I had a hard time if I wanted to remove or add a photo to that album, as I had to do the git dance to change it. I often make changes to what photos I share after seeing what they look like on the website.

No bother

Now I don't have to bother with that. Instead now I have a tool that does what I want it to do, and it does the heavy lifting for me.

Also, using Minio, I can use the same files in different ways if I want to - they are not directly tied to the website.

If you're curious this website is now made with the Perl web framework Mojolicious. I used it a bit like 8 years ago. The documentation makes me feel dumb sometimes, but otherwise I like it a lot. I also really like Perl. It's really flexible in a dirty and ugly way, and I love it.

End of ramble.