Website Refresh

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post! That’s mostly because this has been a very eventful year for me, professionally. More on that soon. But another reason is that I’ve gotten more and more dissatisfied with WordPress. Over the past few days I’ve finally sat down and transitioned the website to a new system. Here it is!

This website is now powered by Zola (formerly known as Gutenberg), an all-in-one static site generator written in my new favorite language Rust. One great thing about this system is that most of the text on this site is now expressed in Markdown, and I can keep the whole thing in Git version control. If there’s one thing I love, it’s putting stuff in Git.

Zola has a very straightforward architecture that makes it easy to implement new features on the website. So I’ve gone ahead and revised the design, changing several things that have been bothering me for a while. For instance, I’ve tried to make the body text extremely readable — if you ask me, almost every website has font sizes that are way too small. (I think it’s notable that Medium, which takes its typography really seriously, also uses unusually large fonts.) I’ve also reduced the size of the header since it’s just one more thing in between you and the stuff you actually want to read.

The Markdown translation wasn’t too bad, but there were several moments when I wished that Tectonic was able to emit the HTML output that I’ve been dreaming of for so long. In particular, the equations on this site look pretty bad, and I wish I was able to define macros using a system more powerful than Zola’s “shortcodes”. Strong motivation to push on that line of work! I really hope that one day — maybe even soon! — I’ll have reason to translate all of this Markdown into TeX.