New site

Posted on Tue 19 March 2013 in News • 2 min read

After several years of inactivity, I've decided to relaunch my site in anticipation of new books and projects.

New books and projects

I've long justified the existence of this site (dating back to 2007) as a means of keeping my writing on track but for the most part it hasn't worked. I have several books and a dozen short stories in various stages of completeness and I really do feel it's time to do something about it.

In this new version of the site, I plan to document several development projects that I've been flirting with for several years now.

Under the hood

A lot has changed from the last version, particularly under the hood. Previously I used Wordpress, a platform that while feature rich is one I've never liked for a number of reasons that I won't get into here. This version of the site is powered by a static site created called Gumdrop. I've only been using it a couple of days but already I've come to love it's flexibility, power and it's markdown based content editing. Gumdrop is based on PHP, a language I've been developing in since 2004; it also uses the twig templating engine, something that's a novelty to me being a CodeIgniter developer for the most part.

As a new site, it's very much under development. I'm still customising the Gumdrop source code to suit my preferences and the way I prefer to work. I haven't paid much attention to the design of the site yet, but that will change in coming weeks.

New things to the site (and me) is the addition of the Twitter feed for my brand-spanking new twitter account @ChrisARosser and comments via the third-party provider, Discuss. I like the idea behind each API and am keen to see if they add any value to the site.

I may write a post about my changes to the app but in the mean time I thought I'd just list them out below:

  • Updated Bootstrap from version 2 to the latest version (3.1)
  • Created a new page types (post, book and page) and custom twig files to handle them
  • Modified Simon Jodets' create_post tool to incorporate the new page types

At time of writing, the search function is broken and I'm not sure when I'll get around to finishing it. Because this site is generated as static HTML, the search function is written in JavaScript, a language that I loath. I use jQuery (mostly other people's code) to add client-side functionality to sites I develop but hitherto, I've always tried to shove as much processing on the server instead of the client as possible. So I must improve my JavaScript but am in no hurry to do so; until then, don't bother using the search function.

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