acdw

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An explanation for lost time

If you’re an avid reader of this site (hey R!) you may have noticed that my post frequency has really taken a dive lately. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time trying to learn Flask and a lot of other technology really fast to make this blog more Indie-web friendly.

It isn’t going as quickly as I’d hoped.

For the first thing, I’m still stuck on what to use as a Markdown parser. On the site as it stands (which is a Makefile and a prayer) I use pandoc, but version 2.0 isn’t available on my web provider; they use OpenBSD which only has a deprecated port of pandoc 1.19, and I need pandoc 2.0 because I use a lot of lua filters that are new to that release. So as of now, I’m making the site on my home computer, uploading the whole thing, and rsyncing the published files to https://www.acdw.net. It’s not very efficient and it uses way more space than I want.

So I discovered Flask, and I thought, Hey, I can port my site to that! And it’s possible, for sure, and it’s really not that hard (I’ve finally gotten to that point in my Flask learning curve, which is nice), but all the Markdown parsers in Python are lacking in some way. I started looking at mistletoe, which is fairly new but trying to be CommonMark compliant, but it doesn’t render something as simple as footnotes. Then there’s mistune, which is similar, but again, doesn’t do footnotes (with both of these I’m assuming I’d need to implement other stuff too). What I like about mistletoe and mistune, though, is that they’re (a) pure python and (b) extensible. The other python markdown options, python-markdown and python-markdown2, do footnotes and a lot of other stuff, but markdown2 isn’t that extensible as far as I can tell and markdown is, like, old. Now that I’ve been looking into it, the OG markdown might be what I want to go with for now because of its ease of extending (I’ve already figured out a simple LineBlock class, which I use for verse) and because it’s like, old is a dumb reason not to use something.

The Markdown problem isn’t the only problem I’ve been having getting my site off the ground: I’m also wondering what sort of caching I should use (if any), how my URLs should look, and how to store my source files, which doesn’t even begin to worry about the indiewebification of my site. I’ve got to implement h-cards, webmentions, and a whole list of other stuff that seems at least a little complicated. So I’ve got a long row to how.

That being said, I shouldn’t have let it get in the way of writing, which is the whole reason I’m here. All the stuff I spent three paragraphs going on about is window dressing to the real stuff of the site, which is this that you’re reading. So I’m going to start writing again, daily, regardless of what my progress is on the nuts and bolts of the site. Eventually everything will look really nice and be brilliant and stuff, but that’ll come later.

Here’s to a new period-of-time.