Aside from heavy coding, documentation probably follows second in the realm of Software Engineering. And yet, I haven’t done a good job at documenting my history of blogging from middle school.

Up until now, a lot of this seemed to be a giant experiment. I used to blog using WordPress, then moved arround to Blogger, Tumblr, and to different themes from GitHub that used Jekyll, Ghost, etc. Then, GitHub Pages worked for the longest time, then I used Forestry a bit, and finally settled with Netlify.

Along the way, I fell in love with Markdown, and got exposed to what I should’ve been learning since day zero: HTML, source control with Git, and other concepts that I only felt ready to tackle once I got to college.

This idea to start over has always existed since the inital deployment of the last theme I chose, and I fully commited to what I said last time:

Side note, we’re gonna redo the blog this summer. There’s no more excuses as someone in the field of CS for this long, I have to become familiar with HTML, CSS, and what not to find a theme and absolutely make it my own.

Local Deployment, Git

Edit-and-push used to be how I tested iterations of my blog. And on top of long deployment times, and many failures after touching one file, this proved to be one of the biggest reasons I never wanted to touch my last site.

Hugo deploys quickly, and basically instantly since I’ve been deploying locally. Instead of forking a theme and going from there, I (for the first time) initalized the blog using the Hugo CLI. And then, I used git init within my blog directory, and also managed to add the theme as a submodule.

The hardest part of all of this was defintley getting the submodules to work, because one wrong move and all of it took so much time to fix. Afterwards, I decided to make my content folder private, thanks to this article from Tania Rascia! For my first time going all in with my CLI, even with the small setbacks, I defintley get it now. Using the CLI can be way faster than a GUI.

The Theme

After browsing the Hugo Showcase, I fell in love with the Hello Friend theme by panr. Sleek, and reminds me of a theme I used awhile back. And dark mode!! This theme will hopefully be our new home for the next few years.

I’ve already gone in and added a new page templete to layout titled external.html which is basically just when accessed, will redirect a user to a specifc page defined in the front matter through {{.Params.Redirect}}. There is probably a better way to do this, but it’ll do for now.

Looking Ahead

The only thing on my mind in terms of new ‘features’ is introducing new pages and possibly other layouts that can accomodate multimodal content (videos, etc). For now, i’ll just keep writing like usual, and will hopefully have more things to talk about in the future.