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A stream of consciousness.



A traditional first (and often only) blog post is “here is how I set up my blog”. You could call this a negative first blog post, because I haven’t actually set one up yet, but this will be posted to it when I have.

On Mastodon recently someone said they had opinions they wanted to write but didn’t want the whole rigamarole of a blog, and I joking suggesting finding a Unix shell and writing a .plan file. For those who aren’t ancient, Unix machines traditionally came with a command called ‘finger’, and if you ran finger on a username one of the things it would do it print out the .plan file in their user directory. It was sort of a very early proto-Twitter.

That got me thinking too that I would like somewhere less ephemeral to occasionally stick some thoughts (I have my Mastodon account to auto-delete posts after a month). My current job is somewhat less opposed to me having opinions than my previous job, and what opinions I have tend not to be related to my current job, so it’s generally less dangerous.

But what I want is something quite simple. The first websites I created were in the mid-1990s and the web was a lot of text and very little JavaScript. I want something that’s more 1994 than 2024.

My first thought was to use one of the modern static site generators like Hugo or Jekyll (I can write the posts anywhere and use CI on GitLab to compile the site and push it to some file hosting I have included with my Fastmail account), but maybe that’s still too 2024.

Someone on Mastodon suggested Smol Pub, which looks like it might be an option, but might also involve putting all of ones eggs in someone else’s basket that does not seem to be actively maintained.

Another option is something like tilde.club. That’s the one that appeals the most at the moment from a perspective of both simplicity and nostalgia. If you’re reading that there, then you’ll know it’s won out (for the moment).