Bits of Simplicity

So it's been awhile


So it's been awhile. A lot has happened since the last time I posted. I quit my job and started a company. My father passed away. I bought another and much larger boat with plans to sail up the California coast. Then 2020 came. My grandmother passed away. Covid happened. My brother got married. I left the company I co-founded. I learned way more about marine diesel engines and exhausts systems that I ever thought I would. Lots of soul searching. Lots of sanding and varnishing.

That is a condensed version which brings me to Today. I was planning on taking down the my current site (this one) and start fresh. Created a new git repo, installed Laravel and setup a new coming soon page. Created a new hosting instance, as the one this is running on is a little dated. About to swap the DNS, but then I see the traffic data. For some reason this site gets about 2.16K unique visitors per month. I have no idea why, but if 137 people visit each day they must get some value from something. Seems like a waste to start from scratch.

So I will be updating this site over the next few weeks. Updating the styles and adding some new features like evergreen pages. I will still be using Laravel because it is a fun framework. I also plan on posting more. I know I have said that in the past, but I plan on sticking to it for awhile.

Neglecting this site lately


I have been neglecting this site lately. Unfortunately I have been pretty busy these past months and haven't had the time. One of the main things I have been working on is my boat. 

I took her out for the maiden voyage and found some small issues. Everything fixable, but since I am not used to this type of work it is taking me longer than expected. 

Next up I setup a XMPP server for some friends and myself to mess around on. I want to move away from Google hangouts and XMPP made the most since. I am planning to do a good write up on how the process went.

Thats all for now! 

Admin Overhaul and tagging


I have finally gotten around to overhauling the admin area and add tagging.

The admin area is completely new. It is much easier to navigate, and is a strong base to build on. I have also switched out TinyMCE for SummerNote editor; loving it so far. TinyMCE was just a pain to include and work with.

I have also added tagging with categories coming soon. It will allow me to organize content a little better.

Next up is adding a payload that I can download and sign with my gpg key and reupload. The idea being a javascript library would verify the payload on the front end. I am also looking to add page support for more evergreen content.

More style updates


Made a few quick style updates to the blog; also dropped the sha1 from each post.

The main one is styling of pre elements. They are much more readable and stand out from normal text now.

Local font hosting and moar caching


I have decided to drop Google fonts and host them locally. I found a pretty neat tool that allows you to download Google fonts and genrate the needed css. The reason is due to privacy concerns and better conrol over caching. I have also adjusted the overall caching of the site from 4 hours to 1 month. I am already using cache busting, so I didn't see any down side. I am a little worried about the effect on images, but right now I don't have any.

Sitemaps, slugs and pagination oh my!


Last night I finally got around to doing something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I have added sitemaps, slug based pretty urls and pagination to this site. Since this site is a pet project and written from scratch it lacks a few key features that most modern blogging platforms have these days. I still need to add archive type listings as well as a page post type, RSS feeds and gpg post signing.


Archive pages are a bit tricky due to datetimes being stored as UTC in the database but converted to America/Los_Angeles when displayed. It means all of the urls are generated with America/Los_Angeles but data is queried with UTC. A work around for this is to create a new field that also stores the time in America/Los_Angeles inorder to query posts. This works because I am really only dealing with one time zone, and I don't want to convert all database timestamps away from UTC.

 A page post type should be a pretty easy one. Something simple with the ability to change templates similar to WordPress.

 RSS feeds should be the same as sitemaps. At least in theory. Only posts should have feeds.

 Post signing is a bit of a tricky one. I think the best way to go about this is have a downloadable payload that can be signed and uploaded. The payload would consist of the posts data. Once it is uploaded I can add a UI element to the frontend to signify that post has been signed. Maybe find away to verify the signature online, but also have a downloadable option. I want to stay away from doing any real gpg operations in the browser as this would not be as secure. That is unless I can find a js library that will interact with my Yubikey.

Blog Style Updates


I have finally gotten around to updating some front-end styles on this thing. Nothing too fancy, but I think it helps with readability. I plan to do more design updates for the next few days.

Been a bit busy


I have been a bit busy as of late, so I have been a bit neglectful of the blog. However I do plan on getting back on track. Anyways more to come.