Regarding Silos, Writing and Coding Buffv2

2019-11-12

I have been evaluating how I use services on the internet for a while, particularly sites or services where I post interests or thoughts. One common theme for me since 2013 is that I have been reflecting on how to reclaim services that required me to be within a silo. Part of the reason I stopped blogging is that I did not realize how cathartic writing your thoughts out can be. I also just thought ideas and thoughts were open to a wider audience on social media, turns out this can be an annoying thing. My thinking was that there was little value to me writing on a blog no one will read.

While it may be true that mostly no one will read or maybe not want to read what I and others write, what we are writing is valuable, especially when it is gathered and collected by corporations that are using it to sell products and ideas to you. A return to blogging is my way of reclaiming some of the processes that I outsourced to third-party platforms. I do not intend to leave those silos or walled gardens entirely, but I do intend to reduce use and dependence on them.

Twenty years ago when I first started to write slash blog on the web I was inspired at the time to learn to program in new languages to make my website better. First using Perl and then PHP so I could make the website interactive and publish without writing HTML. Today this blog is powered by PHP, a language I barely touch anymore unless I am repairing or rewriting something for the blog. When I was tweaking and writing the code powering this website I was often inspired to write blog posts. This inspiration was a good thing, I was coding and writing, which as previously mentioned felt cathartic.

I feel the code behind the website is good enough for me and the security is pretty solid, but I have also been interested in toying with a static site generator which would leave nothing for nefarious characters to hack at, with the database and php code being gone. I have coded using Python over the years in my day job as well as a hobby, making it far easier to keep current than with a language I only use maintaining something I first started writing over ten years ago. There are also far more tools and formats available that have become more mature now than when I originally coded the programs behind this blog.

I could just use Jekyll or something related but that is not how I operate, I enjoy building the tool on my own. I have been working on a conversion program for my posts and the actual SSG itself. I was going to wait until I had everything fully coded, but have decided that I will probably deploy the new Buffv2 in the next few weeks. At the same time I will definitely be archiving the code powering this website, parts were started in 2001, although I would guess that all of it was rewritten at various points to be more secure and because I discovered better ways to do things.