Regarding Silos, Writing and Coding Buffv2
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 thought ideas and thoughts were open to a broader audience on social media; it turns out this can be annoying. I thought there was little value to me writing on a blog no one would 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, primarily 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 I outsourced to third-party platforms. I do not intend to leave those silos or walled gardens entirely, but I intend to reduce their use and dependence.
Twenty years ago, when I first started to write aka blog on the web, I was inspired to learn to program in new languages to make my website better. First, I used Perl and then PHP to make the website interactive and publish without writing HTML. At the time of writing this post, the blog is powered by PHP, a language I barely touch 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. Still, I have also been interested in toying with a static site generator that 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 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 had become more mature now than when I originally coded the programs behind this blog.
I could 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 SSG itself. I was going to wait until I had everything fully coded, but I have decided that I will probably deploy the new Buffv2 in the next few weeks. At the same time, I will 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.