This page collects information about this website itself. It’s divided into two sections: About the contents, which describes information about my posts and how I use this site; and About the Site which lists things such as the design philosophy and the tools used to produce the site, and a changelog to collect notes on updates.

About the contents

What I write about

Since this is a personal site, I essentially write about anything that interests me at the time. As you can read about on the About Page, I have quite a few varied interests and I’m not blogging about anything in particular. Historically, I’ve used this site as a sort of public journal or diary. Earlier posts reflect on building some indieweb software, there’ll be some meta posts about the site itself and reflecting on the technologies I use to build it, and some things about how I generally live my life. Occasionally I’ll write in opinion pieces about a particular topic, but I’m also I grow and change, and might not have written about a change in opinion or mindset. If you catch something that feels outdated, wrong, or silly: please contact me. I’d love to hear from you, and chat about it.

It’s also worth noting that, despite my membership of a number of organisations (political and professional): I’m always writing with my own voice, and nothing I say should be taken to be representative of the views of any particular organisation. This is obviously unless I’ve explicitly said as such, but I rarely will.

All of the posts and pages on this site are released under the Peer Production License. This is a modified, explicitly anti-capitalist, version of the CC-NC.

It’s fairly common to release blog content under a CC license, but I don’t do this because I think the name is misleading and it actually enables privatisation and permits for-profit use of the work. If I want to contribute to some shared ideal of a digital commons; I want to make sure that these commons are not enclosed like those of yore. Read more about this here, and here.

You can read the P2P foundation page wiki on the Peer Production License, but in summation if you’re a commoner, an independent worker, a co-operative or worker-owned entity, or a non-profit: you can do what you want with the content, for free, including republishing it to make money (e.g. in a book). If you’re a for-profit, capitalist, organisation that isn’t owned by its workers then you have to pay to have these rights. You don’t get anything without contributing back to the commons.

Languages

Since languages are cool and one of my interests; I’ve built this site to support pages and posts in multiple languages. The two languages I speak/write fairly effectively are English (en) and Esperanto (eo), so I’ve made a commitment to keep the main pages of this site available and up to date in each of these languages. These are:

For blog posts: each site language has its own archive of posts which are written at different times. I often write posts in multiple languages but this is not guaranteed. For example, I may write some posts only in Esperanto or only in English. Posts dated before 2021 are generally only available in English.

Very occasionally I may write a single post in a language which is not really otherwise present on the site. If that occurs I’ll make efforts to highlight it in some way so it’s not buried in the site without a page linking to it. The reason I may do this will likely be if I’m learning the language, or learning about the language, and I want to play around.

If a page or post has translations, these are accessible underneath its title via the language menu using the ISO 639-1 code for the language.

For ease of access, here are links to the site index page for each language which I’ve made a commitment to:

In the future, I plan to study another language (most likely this will be Spanish) and so this list will grow.

RSS and Atom Feeds

This site supports feeds. There is a dedicated feed in each RSS and Atom for each site language which is currently English and Esperanto.

About the Site

Design Philosophy

Unlike other protocols, on the Web it’s the content producer who decides how content should be viewed.

The presentation and design of this site is ultimately based on my desire to embody the web that I wish to see. Minimalism aside, I feel that the web is now quite a noisy and aggressive place to be. I hate it when I visit a site and it’s basically unreadable because of all of the pop-ups, the content loads slowly because it’s being loaded via JavaScript (if it loads at all), and there’s lots of very heavy CSS.

The site’s design philosophy is inspired by the following sources:

I’ve distilled these into the following rules for myself, which also act as promises to you as a reader whose device has downloaded this page:

Technical Stack

This site is a static site is built in Markdown and Jekyll. I used to run previous versions of the site via my Indieweb software Brimstone, but that fell over due to lack of maintenance in the face of the onward march of PHP and Symfony. I got into the static site game later than a lot of folks (2021, in fact!) mostly because I enjoyed hacking at Brimstone. I think a lot of folks have migrated away from Jekyll now but it’s what I learned a few years ago and does the trick. My site isn’t very complex compared to a lot of other Indieweb sites, so it builds pretty quickly.

To update the site I write in my text editor and upload the static pages to my server via SFTP. I don’t use any Github pages or webhooks. Partly because that’s how I like to do it, partly because I don’t want to add another tool chain in and therefore keep this thing as simple as possible. The code for the site is maintained in a private Gitlab repo.

To enable the multi-language pages and posts, I followed these instructions from Anthony Granger around building a multi-language Jekyll site. In essence, I just add a sub-folder for each language and do some wiring in the config file so that each sub-folder has a url path and each page/post is assigned a language code. A i18n-link variable added to the frontmatter of each page and post to link the two, and then the templating pulls in all the linked pages.

For the HTML and CSS, I write my own styles to style things such as the site header and make some text more readable. I try to use standard, semantic, HTML wherever possible. I try to minimise the number of <div> tags.

I don’t use any form of analytics, I don’t even check if my server’s been pinged. There also shouldn’t be any JavaScript running on the front-end; if there is then I didn’t load it.

Changelog

This changelog is to collect some information about changes I’ve made to the structure and design of the site. This can be to either the external appearance / structure or the underlying technologies.

2022-10

2022-07

2022-05

2022-02

2022-01

2021-12