foothills

2018-Sep-09----------------> 4 minute read
categories: blog, site
tags: hugo, gitlab, github, git, migration


the blog i started way back

going to do the whole history of this blog, even though it is a bit boring. its been a while since i had a legitimate site up. i first started blogging on wordpress, around 2003 i think. it was hosted in my closet, using a dyndns named aztlan.dyndns.org. nothing more than sarcastic, snarky, current events and op eds by yours truly. a deliciously worthless endeavor for playing with words and wasting time alone. i had a lot of help from a couple friends when i ran into sql and css issues.

eventually i migrated that site to a shared hosted setup and bought a domain name. bluehost happily housed that blog for years until i switched up again to asmallorange. strictly a cost saving measure, and referred there by a buddy. asmallorange was fine as a shared host, and actually had great online support which helped along the way. but it was the same messy, complicated mess of tables and databases filled with old blogs, cPanel garbage, and cryptic dns management. i decided on another buddys recommendation to divorce my hosting setup from my domain names, migrated my domains to gandi.net, and at the time to get rid of my site completely.

considering my resurgent interest in programming and then beginning to learn git, i took the opportunity to go nuts and migrate my platform to github, where i would employ (eventually) a static site generator (jekyll).

namely, i switched from shared hosting to using Github Pages functionality, where i hosted a jekyll blog briefly. i even managed to take advantage of their custom domain and https functionality.

during the time i spent learning jekyll and static site generators in general, (i presume jekyll is still the only ssg that github uses, not positive), microsoft announced it was buying github

while it does sound like i ditched github because of the evil m$ invasion, i was also paying 7 bux a month for being able to keep my code repos private. between paying $ and simply looking for a place to use a different ssg (jekyll felt messy and difficult for me due to all of the ruby dependencies. different strokes for different folks), and just plain tinkering with something new, i decided once again to migrate, this time to Gitlab.

gitlab has been different.
where github makes it pretty easy for a doofus to park code, use basic git, and host a website, gitlab requires understanding of pipelines, assets and a bunch of other new stuff to me. i have no doubt others have no discomfort using git and github/gitlab seamlessly, but it definitely taxed my after-work brain getting all of this straight. still does.

but it has been worth it, and i have managed to finally become comfortable enough with my nuts and bolts hugo site theme, and overall workflow. thankfully things like importing my github repos, setting up ssh keys, and SO documentation made it possible to setup a new site. it just took time to learn a totally different path to content creation.

the best thing that has come out of this has been a clean site template that i understand fully, a better understanding of git in general, although branches are still tough for me to work with, and no more complicated dependencies on sql backends for managing a nice dumb blog.

there is still a lot i want to slowly implement. for instance in order to get a feel for how hugo works in general i pulled down dozens of example blogs and ripped them apart locally. after doing that i also felt the need to strip all css elements out of the entire site. css still eludes me, and i plan to slowly re-inject it piece by piece so that i understand every element.

so far there is no javascript running on my site. no ads, no trackers, no cookies collecting your name ip or any other sneaky stuff that other people stick all over their sites. im not looking to monetize my site or track my audience. the only difficulty this presents, this being a static generated site, is in hosting comments. there is no “social” aspect to the site, which lame as it might sound, i miss.

i dont use facebook any more, or any other social media really, so im stuck with a conundrum. my blog used to be entertaining for me and possibly others, and a handful of people i care about used to interact with it. in the new world of megabook and megagoogle and megaanalytics, im not sure i have enough pizazz with some recipes and pics of my walks in the neighborhood and cliche tech meanderings to entertain or keep the interest of folks. maybe ill step my game up soon, but in the meantime i am considering get a cheap shared hosting solution so i can host my own comment platform.