Revisiting TODO of this site
With a revamping done, it’s a good moment to reflect upon the old plan I had for this site and some ideas about it in the future.
It’s been quite a while since the last time I’ve published a post for the record, I did write several drafts during this vacancy and now this site is undergoing a second redesign. The 1st attempt is using Octopress, the 2nd attempt is using Org2Jekyll and Jekyll itself. There is also a 2.5 attempt when I switch from org source to markdown, but old posts are not all converted though..
The old TODO page was published almost exactly one year ago. The last todo note is taken at 03 August 2015. The timing is a pleasant coincidence.
I would call this part partially done as dozens of entries have been added since then. However there are not as many as I’d like. However, at present I believe a completely independent wiki is not necessary. Much like the value of sidenote/marginnote, wiki should serve posts as reference source, and thus many features planned for wikis are scratched.
Sidebar is removed all together. To my slight surprise, half of the original TODO is about features for sidebar. I guess it’s because I was learning web design back then and sidebar offered the most challenging problems. Unfortunately, these challenges served only as distractions to making a good personal site: writing high-quality posts and showcase real work.
Firstly, the design style of this site is KISS.
In retrospect, all previous revamping are actually moving towards the current
Octopress is full of conventions I didn’t understand. Writing posts in Emacs
org and then do the conversion adds extra indirections and complexities.
Further, I’ve realized that the most common way visitors (including myself) use this site is: search the web or follow some links to a post in this site, read the interesting bits and then leave. In the very few occasions a visitor might be curious enough to explore other parts of the site. So the pivotal point in design should be to maximize the readability of the post and sidebar is only a distraction. Actually in the old design, sidebar is an example of premature optimization. Sidebar essentially is an optimization for site navigation, which as any other shortcut/optimization should be justified first. It can be easily justified for some e-commerce site, but not really for a small personal site.
The Philosophy Collection
Not much have been done. However, I started to write some posts on more abstract topics like bug fixing methodology, the merits of adaption and etc. I think this is a good direction and in line with my aforementioned plan for wikis. I see posts more as observational diary about ideas. It’s about the process that an idea comes into being, goes through stages of developing, absorbing new facts, integrating with other ideas to form a system and eventually fading into irrelevance and being superseded by new ideas. And it’s in this view of posts, specific, reusable tips/scripts should be factored out into wiki. Wiki serves posts (in extension ideas) as references.
With the above said, I’ll strive to stay pragmatic though ;P.
That’s about the review. It’s a little disappointed to see only so few has been planned.
The NEW Plan
“Nothing is ever new. Only the history previously unknown.” I failed to find this saying’s origin, the closest source seems to be “There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before” from A Study in Scarlet. So the NEW plan is more about the ideas I’ve long had and would like to see implemented in the site. The TODO page is no longer there, but I’ve enjoyed the one-year review of my previous TODO.
In my metaphor,
KISS is like straight parallel
Tufte CSS adds musical notes on them.
I’ve liked the Tufte CSS Style from
the very beginning, before I even knew its name. It’s
KISS plus delicacy. I’ve
adapted this style with
Jekyll using good work done by
Immaculate Jekyll Theme,
which also features the
Personally, I know little about
AMP, other than it’s proponed by Google and good for mobile devices. It seems to embed all stylesheet within the HTML itself, which is bewildering to me for now.
I’ve also put up a homepage instead of the list of posts as I envision this site to be the main hub for all my online activities.
One main goal of the plan is to cultivate a habit of frequent writing. How exactly I am going to achieve this still eludes me. Here is the sketch of what I want to accomplish:
I’ve started using
OneNotefor planning and note taking. The accumulated notes can serve as a good basis. Many more old notes are in
orgfiles. As posting everyday would be quite laborious, there have to be some guidelines on what to write, how to write. A transitory guide is to single out an idea, quickly scratch a post and publish, then review and refine.
Formalize a writing style.
TODO Reflect on the way posts are written and put up a post about a good style
Everyone has a style but not everyone is aware, let alone formalizing it. A consistent and formal style can really speed up writing and it’s the key in forming the habit.
Other than the habit, I’d like to see some new additions to my site.
If posts are for a single visitor To digest the content in one’s own pace., presentations are for a group of audience. The format and use cases of presentations enforces the following properties: compact, succinct, open for questions and critics. It can serve as the best way to introduce/summarize a complex topic.
As it said, “Every job is a sales job.”. Being good at presentation also makes one more competitive in job market.
The plan is to recap, recollect all my old presentations first. Reedit them if the topics are still relevant today. Write new presentations whenever it’s good to do so.
Hmm, this part is the
default clause in my plan
I.e. everything else. ;P. More concretely, as there are some other sites
I’ve frequently used out there, collect those worthy ones and make a page for
them in this site.
This site is my online hut(hub).
About Reading Notes
Reading notes will be removed and only more thoughtful review for books are worth a post.
I’ve got some posts
Some more are in
that are merely quotes from books I’ve read. Posts are ill-fit for quote
collection like that. For the purpose of reviewing, I’ve found
Anki to be handy.
That’s all for now. Big ideas and let’s make sure they would end up as Big words only. “Words are wind~”