I’ve been meaning to consolidate my personal websites onto this domain for a long, long time. My original personal website, dflock.co.uk, started in the late nineties - and has been getting a bit long in the tooth of late.
That site has been up, looking mostly like that, for ~15 years - with zero maintenance or downtime. Nice to know it’s still valid CSS 1.0 :)
When I created that site originally, the options were either Adobe PageMill, or hand editing HTML in a text editor. I’ve never been a fan of
WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is(supposedly)-what-you-get) editors - and the early ones were… not good, so I wrote all the HTML code by hand.
That site also has some data heavy pages, which are manually published from XML files using
XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) to output HTML, processed by Saxon, later XMLStarlet – again, all written and run by hand.
As far as I can remember, I did all that on a 486sx Windows ‘98 PC, using the TextPad text editor – which is apparently still available, unlike Adobe PageMill.
Baked, not Fried
DHTML (Dynamic HTML)?), AJAX, Web Apps, Websockets, Ruby, Python, Cloud Hosting, HTML5, etc, etc… things have got a lot more complex in the web development world over the last 15 years.
If I was going to update my old sites, I was going to do it Old School - static files, lean & clean.
So, here we are, full circle
I’m sitting writing this post in ReStructuredText - a simple, easy-to-read, what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext format. I’m using an amazing text editor - SublimeText - on a quad-core, 8GB RAM, Linux box. Every time I hit CTRL+s, Pelican automatically pours my words into the site’s templates (written in Jinja) and bakes it all into static files in a folder. It’ll then upload it to my server if I want, or I can upload them myself.
Static text files - they really are the gift that keeps on giving.
The same, but different. The same, but better.