New site live

Posted by on Jul 19, 2008 in news | No Comments

I’m finally happy enough with the new look to declare this site well and truly live in its new incarnation. I’m sure I’ll fiddle with the design a bit, later, but I think I’ll try to give it a week or two. Going back and editing anything you’ve done is easier once you’ve got some distance from it.

I dropped the Quotes and Podcasts pages, because nobody was looking at them (if I ever shove this site somewhere scriptable, I might reincarnate the quotes as a quote-of-the-day feature, though!)

I’ve also moved the whole site generation to XSL. Some of the pages have chunks of static content, but the Photography and Favourite Mac Apps pages are generated from XML — in the case of the Photography page straight from XML returned by the Flickr API. All I have to do is type “make”, and my most interesting (according to Flickr, anyway) photo links are retrieved as an XML file, and that’s then processed into the gallery page and all the individual photo pages. Neat.

Oh, and the entire “blog-like” updates page (i.e. probably the one you’re reading right now) is in fact generated completely “bass ackwards” — I write the RSS feed, using Feeder, and then generate the entire archives, including all the individual permalink pages and the categories (including the sidebar menu) all through a single XSL 2.0 stylesheet. I know there are plenty of blogging solutions out there I could have used, but I learned more doing it this way.

So, I’ve learned a lot about XHTML, a lot about CSS (I even have a “print” stylesheet set up, which should save anyone who wants to print the pages out money on ink, at least), a lot about XSL, a bit about RSS and a fair chunk about Panic’s Coda. Oh, and I’m using Subversion for source control, so I’m picking up a little of that, too.

On the whole, a good exercise, I think. They say that the personal site is a good playground, and I’ve been playing, and it’s all been very educational. Cool.

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