Kolo Rahl's Blog

Moving To Hugo

Published 2017 Dec 19 21:23 UTC

I’m moving to Hugo as my static site generator. Previously I was trying to make use of Google’s “serverless” architecture to push source content files to Google Storage and then have a few files of JavaScript convert it into an HTML page as well as update some of the “linked” pages, such as the front page and archives, but there are two problems with that:

  1. Google Functions is still not production-ready and I can’t get it to work reliably 100% of the time, so it’s costing me more time in fixing failed work triggers than it is saving me from using something like Hugo.
  2. The fact that Google Functions only accepts JavaScript (or did earlier this year), is a major knock against using it. JavaScript is an awful language, as other people have explained in better detail than I care to go into here.

In addition to switching to Hugo to generate my static site assets I’ve been making visual adjustments (yet again) to what I hope will eventually become my final form.

Style Changes

Anyone that saw my previous few iterations on this blog site might have noticed that for a while I was using “console” fonts and a light background with black text or a dark background with Matrix Green colors and so on. It was a phase, but I’m back on track. I was trying to be unique while also appealing to the programmer in me, but I’m not my primary audience for reading these posts. I went with a style based loosely off Maddox’s The Best Page in the Universe. The concept is keeping reading strain to a minimum and emphasizing what people are at your site for: reading.

I’m Saving Your Eyeballs

Most computer monitors and mobile devices are built like lightbulbs, not like paper, and so bright colors (and white especially) is like shining a flashlight into your eyes. The dark (usually black) text is like having a stencil cut-out placed over the flashlight. In fact, if you remember what an old-school overhead projector was like, it’s basically like that but with a far more powerful light source. The dark background protects your eyes by decreasing the overall strain it receives. The colors are generally not completely white except in certain places where the text is succinct and used for emphasis.

No Need for Closed Captioning

As our screen technology improves we seem to just keep cranking up our screen resolutions. Even modern mobile devices have impressive screen resolutions for their relatively small physical sizes. But as we keep improving the screen resolution we don’t generally increase our base font size to match, so we get very fine, but very crisp, font renderings. But if your site is primarily serving text for people to read, you need larger font sizes than the default. And if you’re worried about people having to “scroll for days” because they are reading your site on their phone and the text size is large, it’s better for your reader to deal with a bit more scrolling rather than shoving the phone into their ocular sockets to try and read your text. Better than even having to zoom in manually on the page and then deal with scrolling left and right in addition to up and down.

What’s Cooking…

The next article I’ve got drafted is going to talk about some work I did at the beginning of 2017 for Loot Crate. I was the architect for our “Loot Crate 2.0” effort which was tested using their Sports Crate line as the front-end. We did a lot of cool stuff on that project and I learned a lot, so I’m hoping to put some of that down formally (the parts that aren’t confidential).

Now, although that’s next in my drafts presently, there’s a lot of content to discuss around that, so I might publish some other articles before I get around to completing my write-up for the Sports Crate job.