After years of thinking about it, all of the pieces of the puzzle came together and this website was born.
Straw the first
I’ve had a variety of blogs on a variety of platforms:
- WSPR on Blogger, willwont.blogspot.com; for general chatter.
- WSPR on Wordpress, wspr.wordpress.com; for ‘engineering’ updates.
- LaTeX-Alive on Tumblr, latex-alive.tumblr.com; to talk about LaTeX.
- WSPR on my University of Adelaide account, http://personal.mecheng.adelaide.edu.au/will.robertson/, for more CV-related-type usage.
As time has gone by, I’ve been less and less satisfied with having things spread out all over the place, and this is partially why, I think, my frequency of writing has decreased over the years. (The other reason being of course that I’ve been too busy to do too much of anything.) I had intended to use the University of Adelaide website to consolidate everything to, but my homegrown static generation of HTML pages was simply too limited and (to be honest) clunky.
But fixing all of this wasn’t going to happen in a vacuum.
Straw the second
More recently, I’ve been somewhat troubled by having all my email in Gmail, not for insidious reasons like I think they’ll read all my email or anything (I don’t have a problem with that), but rather because I want a centralised repository for my email archive, and using Gmail for that is awkward due to their embrace-and-extend way of handling IMAP folders. In addition, I had a feeling that Gmail’s IMAP interface is somewhat unreliable and/or slow. Don’t get me wrong — if you’re happy with just using the web interface, Gmail is the best email client out there. It’s just not for me, any more.
Switching email addresses is not something to be done lightly; the last time I did it was probably 10 years ago around the time Gmail first appeared. But if all goes well, a custom domain should be the last time I ever need to switch. For the record, I’m currently using Hover’s email service, since I bought my domain through them. If anything even hints of being less good than it should, or even if I run out of space quicker than I think I will, I’m switching straight to FastMail. That’s the other good thing about using vanilla IMAP email services; switching hosts is relatively easy.
The email thing has been going well.
Straw the final
I’ve recently (finally) started using Github Pages, and had the realisation and that I could host through Github from a custom domain. The setup was more arcane that it should have been, but works well. I like the way Jekyll is set up to serve static HTML pages. And using Github to handle everything is starting to feel second nature.
So my plan is to start migrating all of the content I’ve been spreading out over the internet and consolidate it here. And then keep writing! We’ll see how that goes.