Web Development —
A website and a fleeting sense of safety
Some weeks ago Ethan Marcotte published an article called Let a website be a worry stone.
But in the last few weeks, before and after launching the redesign, I’ve kept working away at this website, much as I’d distractedly run my fingers over a smooth, flat stone.
There’s something immensely powerful of holding a website in your thoughts like this. It resonated deeply with me. As many of us I have been struggling real hard with keeping up while not getting totally worn out by the news cycle. As I write this, the president of the United States of America recommended something with bleach to heal a coronavirus and I don’t even bother to look at this clusterfuck anymore.
That’s why there is something powerful in finding something to hold onto.
I’m pretty proud of my website. It isn’t a fancy one. There are things missing. It has edges. It has markup that has evolved over time. But still, it’s a pretty nice site. And it’s mine. Uniquely mine. There is no other site like it.
Over the last few months I’ve worked quite a bit with Eleventy. We use it to build Self-Defined, I built the info page for the Corona Test Centre at the University of Zurich with it. And the experience has been pretty marvellous. Long story short: I wanted to use f0r my site, too.
But I also knew that, if I would open another branch, try to migrate everything before publishing anything I would be done in the year 2321 and by this time I would also be pretty much dead.
My articles are hosted on Contentful I can easily distribute them to multiple sites.
Hence, I created a new repository and added almost nothing in it. In fact, at the time of writing it’s contains only some API calls and a bit of markup, Eleventy logic and … no styles. Which is unusual, because I normally always write styles immediately. The longer I look at the unstyled version of the page, the more I like it. It gives away the power of defaults and the structure semantic HTML will add to your page without having to do anything. I like it so much, in fact, that the final version of the site will include the possibility to disable the stylesheet.
You can follow me along while I experiment with my new site at 11ty.owlish.dev. I will also periodically blog about it. Here. And on the new site. Because they are one. One day the new site will be this site. Maybe no one will notice, but me. And that’s okay. Because this website is my worry stone.