Website Makeover, Again


Out with the old, in with the new! After some frustration with Hugo, I’ve moved to Zola and some light CSS.

I wanted to write a new blog post regarding elefont and Quicksilver’s new text rendering system, but I was dreading making a post on the site. Hugo had proved opaque and fragile for me, and its blizzard of configuration options wasn’t making things much easier. Plus, something small broke when I tried to use the latest Hugo version on Windows to re-build the site. I wasn’t much interested in tracking down a changelog and bringing my blog up to the latest version, so I decided Hugo had to go.

Initially I considered writing my own static site generator. How hard could it be? I asked myself. Then I thought about generating an RSS feed, and parsing front-matter, and maybe setting up a SASS compilation pipeline. No thanks! I instead settled on Zola, primarily because it seems to be the right combination of simple and expressive. Secondarily, it’s written in Rust, which I appreciate. Using Zola has been very nice so far; I feel more like I’m programming a little language designed to make website-making easy. Previous experiences with Hugo and Jekyll felt more like wrestling the generator into doing what I wanted; Zola is a breath of fresh air by comparison.

Currently the site is very light on styling. So far I like the look of it, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

I hope this means I can get some posts up about Quicksilver soon; there’s been a lot of evolution since the end of last year, when I was just starting on the new alpha versions. I ended up forgoing a State of Quicksilver 2020, for a few reasons:

Post-script update, as of June 8th 2020: The blog is a bit more automatic! Previously I was just pushing up new built versions of the site to Github Pages, but that gets tedious. I set up Github Actions to run on any push to ryanisaacg/blog on master; now the blog is automatically built and deployed.