Hello! It’s been a while 😊
Things shouldn’t look too different: same fonts, same design. I updated links to have underlines instead of fuchsia text. More standard, I suppose. Sidenotes now snap to the bottom of the relevant paragraph on smaller viewports instead of the top; they also include identifying numbers. I think I’ve made better use of semantic HTML in this new version.
It didn’t take too long, only a couple of days. Luckily, I could leverage configuration and boilerplate from beartracklake.com; at the end of the day, it’s a simple site. Honestly, most of the time was spent fiddling with minute CSS details.
Being able to set and forget something is fantastic, something I could not do for the previous site version.
It was built using React, NextJS, and TailwindCSS. It was a great learning experience as I was trying to gain competency in some basic front-end stuff. I highly recommend them, just not for a simple site.
I had dreams of interactive blog posts, maybe even a backend, but they were never realized. Building the site took just over 2 minutes (the new site takes ~200ms). I had to deal with frequent dependency issues and churn, even though the site was primarily static. The final straw was the site returning 500 errors instead of 404s on unknown pages due to a weird interaction between Netlify’s NextJS plugin, NextJS, and my configuration. Hard to debug and not worth the hassle for a few autogenerated HTML pages.
There’s one thing I will say, though: The frontend dev tooling is terrific. Sure, modern stacks are complex, but the tooling does an excellent job of hiding most of this and enabling you to focus on your core stuff. From the outside looking in, I’m envious.
It’s cool seeing something grow organically. There’s a ton of SEO stuff you can do to try and game the system, but I’ve always found it takes the fun out of writing. I’m glad some pages still seem to grow without much effort on that front, given enough time.
Finally, to the one person who found my “Hot Takes about Software Engineering” post via the query “hot software engineers,” I’m sorry.
Anyway, thanks for reading! Now enough fiddlin’ with the site. Time to actually write 😉
Stay safe, Justin