Alex's blog

Version 4.0 and XBlog

Published on 2022-05-21

On-and-off over the last little while, I've been rearranging and reworking a lot of this site, trying to turn it into an IndieWeb-style personal Web site instead of the previous no-particular-purpose site.

The new version includes a personal profile page, blog categories, an Atom feed (albeit not a very good one), more information about my projects, support for the Webmention protocol, some Microformats2 markup, and considerable improvements to the workflow. There's a lot of work still to be done (as there always is), especially with IndieWeb stuff, but I expect to actually be able to use the site for something now.


This was the first day I actually started seriously working on the site itself. I enabled XBlog's Webmention support, overriding the default blog template to move the mentions section to the main template so they'd show on all pages. Once I had that working, I set up a "canonical social profile," to act as a single place to point people to with all my information about me, using Microformats2's h-card to mark it up. Fighting briefly with XML whitespace significance in some of my inline markup got me introduced to the xml:space="preserve" attribute value, which is a tool I'll hopefully remember in the future.

I also got started on the structural reorganization of the site, and some markup changes. I switched headings from <h1>, <h2>, etc. to <h1> only with <section>, <article>, etc. nesting to communicate hierarchy instead, which is a poorly-adopted but in my opinion very nice feature of HTML5. I removed the top-level site title <h1> and changed the "Home" entry on the navbar to use the site title, instead. I just did this in the CSV file for the moment, but it would probably work better as part of the XSLT.


After a couple of days, I rebuilt the front page as a sort of summary, with (mostly manual) extracts and links to other pages. I included a DuckDuckGo site search box, though it was less than perfect since I didn't want a CGI script involved and I couldn't get the site: parameter to be set without actually putting it in the form input. I went back and forth for a bit on using a sort of "dashboard" layout, with a flexbox-arranged set of bordered blocks, but I ended up scrapping that, at least for the front page. I kept the CSS for later, though.

I also rearranged the "about site" page, reversing the history section to most-to-least recent, along with revising the text, writing some preliminary discussion of 4.0, and adding a link to an "administrative" page to absorb the previous domain policies page.

I had to catch up on some housekeeping and reorganizing, committing things to Git (including the profile page) and eliminating the dreaded Miscellaneous.

I added a projects page, listing various current and past projects of mine, and a "me now" page so people can get an idea of what I'm up to at the moment (as recommends).


I completely stopped working on the site for a long time, due purely to a random loss of interest. In the intervening time, I did at least set up my personal Git hosting. When I came back, I finished up the project pages, including moving some of my discontinued projects into place and reformatting one of them into XHTML that XSite would accept.


After another break, not quite as long this time, I touched up some links and other minor issues, committed some stuff to Git, and decided to actually finish up and get ready to publish the new version. Unfortunately, decision does not always necessarily lead to immediate action.


Once again, I stalled for a while, but this time it was at least partially for a reason: I needed to set up OpenPGP, and to do that in a way my paranoia would consider sufficiently secure I ended up going down a long yak-shaving chain that involved, among other things, reflashing the firmware on my PinePhone Pro. Eventually, I got all that done, and after some non-justified delay I came back and added the public key to my profile page, along with the OMEMO keys and some other revisions.

Then, I needed to revise this blog post, and the one about XBlog into what you're seeing now. I also needed to do a bunch of Git cleanup, revision to the httpd configuration (especially to add redirects for the various things that moved), and other general cleanup, as well as some setup for OpenPGP Web Key Directory, to make my PGP key auto-findable. Then, I typed scripts/publish, and hopefully you're looking at the result.

Tagged: Site, Updates