As you might have noticed, the layout of has changed quite a bit. I also switched out s9y for Pelican which generates static html instead of having to host a server side dynamic CMS. I really don’t like doing maintenance on CMS systems (a couple of my websites went black after CMSMadeSimple decided to drop Postgres support, it never “just works”). As an added bonus, there’s no server side scripting so there’s nothing to exploit.

In the process of switching to Pelican, I’ve created a plug-in to easily create albums from groups of images and to generate thumbnails on the fly: pelican-albums.

I’ve also created a set of scripts to easily deploy multiple Pelican sites on a single server based on GitHub webhooks. It automatically creates a virtual environment for each site, installs the requirements and builds the site according to the publishing configuration. I’ll document this in a later post, it’s pretty nifty for multi-user Pelican installs: Each user can just push to the GitHub repository and the changes will be automatically published.

The way the new layout works was heavily inspired by a remake I did for the website of Certified Edible Dinosaurs. It’s a responsive design where the sidebar collapses based on CSS media queries. A small jQuery based javascript then allows you to unfold and fold the sidebar. The way the sidebar expands differs whether the screen is in portrait or landscape mode.

Speaking of sidebars, since the site now pre-generated, things like a twitter stream need to be implemented using javascript. I’ve chosen jQuery Lifestream because it provides a very simple API, requires no server-side components and is easily themeable.

Now… With all this marvellous technology in place, all I need is something to write about.

Posted by Ingmar Steen on Sun 12 April 2015 22:30