Adam's Blog

Website Overhaul Update

Friday July 01, 2011
Category: Uncategorized

I am trying to overhaul the website. I have been spending a lot of time researching what system I should use and how I should do things.

I have settled on Hyde. It is a python based engine that utilizes Jinja2 tempates, which are very close to Django. Right now I use 2 different content management systems that dynamically load and have different logins and passwords and I really don't need it. I love Hyde's idea of having static pages. There is nothing to login to on the net. No access points for hackers or spambots or script kiddies. I like that.

The downsides of Hyde is that it is quite big and flexible and requires some learning if you want to do something other than a boilerplate site. Currently the documentation isn't great but sufficient to get going. What Hyde really has is a few people who have open sourced their code to generate their sites (!!). I stumbled across James Clarke's site today and found it super useful.

With a templating system that allows for some real power under the hood I will be able to keep the look and feel of the site much more consistent and make a global change by only shifting a template. Right now I have some old youtube links on the site that use the <object> tag instead of the new <iframe> tag. They both work but I had to do a little massaging on each to get them to sit in. I have written a macro for Jinja that allows for a very simple way to integrate youtube links. If I change this macro then all youtube links will be updated across the whole site (once I recompile, of course).

After lots of sitting by a tree I came to the realization that I had places and media to put on the site. Also, that I felt that academic items were media items, just like pictures or other traditional media assets. So, I came up with this layout idea for all of my project pages.

Project Page

This can be handled nicely by Hyde. I would also like to be able to tag a project page as old and have it not included in my current list of projects but have it grouped in old projects, as I have now. No problem with Hyde's categories.

The major bonus of this system for me is git. I can make a git project out of this and everything gets stored in a format that both get and I can read. With Wordpress, indexhibit, or other mysql based sites only machines or super database wizards can read the files created and do anything with them. With Hyde and some careful planning, all of the content is a simple text file (or image file).

I am still a little dubious about comments on the site. I have received 1 non-spam comment in two years. So, I am looking into disqus to handle comments. The nice thing is that I can add them after I get the skeleton up and running.

There are some dirty Hyde details that I will start blogging about as I get my feet wet. Until then, any thoughts or links I might need please email me or put something in the comments here.

Happy Canada Day!

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