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cold start


At the beginning of this millennium, I was blogging irregularly on some proprietary services, and other than that, I was using them as poor man's cloud word processors even before the dawn of online office suits. But in the process of time, life changed, the web changed, and I forgot to update my blog(s). Eventually, I archived the contents and deleted them.

In COVID lockdown, I wanted to start a personal website and blog again. I was already looking for a cool domain name that would express me. Then I bought a domain name and started to think about my new blog.

...Okay. What can I do? How about blogging services? I was using them before, all-in-one package, everything is ready-to-use. But I don't want to write just a blog; I need a personal website with blogging facilities. Right? And what if one day this company, organization, or person decided to stop service and go poof? Now, I need a hosting solution; should I buy a VPS or a managed service? Maybe I should self-host everything if my IPS allows. No, it isn't, but here it is: some used server hardware for cheap. Is WordPress and a simple hosting plan enough? Hmm, actually, I can make a simple personal website from scratch; let's go to the MDN. What do I need for a working WordPress installation? PHP, MariaDB, and Apache but what about NGINX? What do you say, ssg? What is it? Static site generator, nice. There are so many of them, every programming/scripting language or administration tool has one. Hugo looks okay, and I think I've heard before about Jekyll. What is the license situation? Let's check the designs, different templates. Which one is the most minimal? Which one is used by industry giants? How many markdown species linger in the wild? What is the lowdown? Oh, maybe I can use tools like pandoc or mandoc for generating my webpages. But do you remember, yesterday I was reading an interview and learned the interviewee developed a simple wiki system and used it for his personal webpage. Furthermore, some famous free software projects use it, fantastic idea, right? Let's install and tinker a bit, or maybe I am too lazy to learn some wiki markup. If I am digging more, I can go further and dive into classics; how about learning TeX/LaTeX and hitting two birds with one stone? On the other hand, I am already an Emacs user; finally, I can start to learn orgmode and can hit lots of birds with a plasma gun. Even without orgmode, I am sure Emacs can generate webpages for me, holy elisp but here is a package: I can control a Hugo blog without leaving Emacs, including publishing. Besides, it looks like I can write everything in org and use with Hugo and also using github or Cloudflare for hosting, which is apparently free as in freeride. Stop. I can write my content in an office word processor like LibreOffice and export it as HTML and, voila, I am creating pages like the 90s. Even I can find tools like good old Frontpage if I look for them, or I can install a copy of old Frontpage in a virtual machine or with Wine. What about alternatives like gemini or gopher? Plain-text publishing? Maillists? Substack? PDF files as blog posts? Maybe a fanzine? Periodical or non-periodical publication...

This sloppy stream is an example of how I can procrastinate when I need to. Sometimes I am just struggling and dragging my ass for a long time, until I start over and complete the real thing. I can't be sure this process is really vital for actualizing things, but just for this time and this situation, I prefer to think; it is. The whole process may occur for finding out what the matter is, which is obviously content in this context. And when I found the answer, I went for the most barebones solution.

Consuetudinis magna vis est.

Cicero, Tusculanae Quaestiones, II.37