Welcome to my updated homepage, this time at its third major version!
First iteration — a year ago
The first iteration of this site, which went live exactly a year ago, was a single static page that leveraged Twitter’s Bootstrap. I created that page for two reasons: to serve as the target for all the “homepage” links that online profiles require, and to learn Bootstrap. Due to the site’s simplicity and goals, its contents were not very interesting nor dynamic.
Second iteration — seven months ago
On the second iteration, I adopted Jekyll to manage the split of the monolithic page into various chunks with the goal of extending their content. Among the new content, I added a “news” section to leverage Jekyll’s functionality in managing blog-like sites and announced the site’s 2.0 release.
Not much later, I concluded that Medium was not the right place to host the original versions of my content—nor was Blogger or any other managed site, for that matter. The main reason was that using a third-party site to host the originals meant that I was at the mercy of that site for the fate of my content (Duh—I know). More importantly, which was the trigger, was that I could not retrieve my content in a format that permitted reuse, which I desired recently.
The realization above made me import all of my Medium posts into this site and, now, the time has come to take the leap and actually turn this site into my full-blown blog.
Third iteration — today
On this third iteration, this site has become my full-blown blog, deprecating the old Blogger-based The Julipedia.
What you will find in this third iteration is a revamped look that surfaces recent content more clearly with fewer highlights on my persona. Additionally, I have imported all the content from The Julipedia verbatim, respecting the URL schema, and will be redirecting the old Blogger address to this site at some point in the near future. (The plan is for existing links in the wild to not break, and for anyone subscribed to the old RSS feed to start picking up new entries automatically… we’ll see how well that works in practice.)
Thoughts on Markdown
Importing the content from Blogger and Medium was extremely painful. It is true that these sites provide an export feature, but the output they yield is incredibly user-hostile. I’m glad to have realized this now and not after several more years or blogging!
With my cynical hat on, the export feature exists primarily for backup purposes and secondarily for peace of mind; otherwise, it’s mostly useless for taking the content elsewhere. It took many contortions to extract the content and reconvert it into a version that I can consider canonical and reusable—i.e. either a Markdown document or a simplified HTML page.
Aside from the import, which I will cover on a separate post later on, authoring original content in Markdown has been rewarding so far. This platform makes me feel in full control (for better or worse) of the whole authoring, editing, and publication process, and I get a good feeling that the master copies of my articles will stand the test of time.
Unfortunately, I have to confess that the barrier to publication via Jekyll is higher, which has had the effect of me publishing less frequently and focusing on longer and more elaborate posts. Or… maybe that’s just correlation: I have been posting more infrequent but longer posts since before the birth of this site.
IMPORTANT: So has this site turned into my authoritative blog? I guess that’s the case!
Make sure to update your feed subscription now to not miss a beat.
Hope you enjoy the new site! There is new stuff coming up soon, including a detailed explanation on how I extracted my old Blogger contents and reposted them in Jekyll (which was far from trivial) and a formal “deactivation” of The Julipedia address.