Tweaking the blog again

Filed under meta on October 05, 2020

As should be obvious if you’ve come here before, I’ve redone the place. This time, I went straight off the Gatsby blog starter and tweaked a few things here and there.

New Features

  • Full tagging. Before I only had broad categories and it was becoming difficult to find certain posts. Give it a go by clicking the hashtags under the title.
  • Simpler styling. I really hate cluttered, noisy UIs. Being able to reduce the amount of things going on on the screen makes me happy.
  • Shorter build times. It was taking me a long time to build and bring up the development server. Paring it all back means I can be stupid faster.
  • More frontmatter metadata. I have the option of either letting Gatsby generate an excerpt or specifying a short description for each post.

Lessons Learned

  • GraphQL is something that I’ve been curious about for a while now, it was good to get my hands dirty with it to figure out whether it’s actually something worth using. While I like it here, I’m still not convinced whether it’ll always be the right tool. Seems like a lot of overkill for most applications, maybe if I had a huge search space that needed some level of arbitary-ness to it, but I think I’d just prefer query parameters most of the time
  • React. I know I’m using it in the context of Gatsby right now, but I think I could actually grow to enjoy using this. The component based development style means I’ve been able to identify a couple of common components that I’ve been able to pull out, and in the process I’ve been able to better figure out how my own site works under the hood.
  • Gatsby in general. Previously, I was able to make small changes, now I’m feeling way more comfortable modifying the little parts that annoy me

Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue tweaking this incarnation of the blog to something I can really be proud of. It’s already lasted longer than my last few attempts, so I’ll take that as a good sign