A picture of me.

Last Updated: 2021-04-04

Published: 2020-02-23

How is this site built?

If you just want to know exactly how this site is built and don’t care about the history, skip down to the current-process section. If not, I’ll take this opportunity to actual outline the different sites that I’ve had along the way leading up to this one as they’ve radically changed along the way.

Version 1

I originally had a site that was fully JavaScript powered, and built from scratch. I even created a tiny micro-framework that I used to build it called gyul. I had a lot of fun with that build, but it was a bit slow on initial load and wouldn’t work for visitors that had JS disabled. However I look back at it fondly since it was my first time truly building something that was mine, and it also got me away from using other blogging platforms. This also corresponded with a project I started called ándaga which was a way for me to track my own free-time to try and find patterns. Everything was integrated.

Version 2

As I got more into Scala, I wanted to see if I could generate my site using that instead of JS. This lead me to a collection of tools and a process that I’ll outline below.

  1. Create a log via ándaga-cli for a task that I was working on.
  2. Log gets stored into MongoDB by ándaga-core, which are some serverless functions that were running on Vercel
  3. Nightly, I had a script that ran which dumped my DB into a JSON file. This JSON got committed and pushed to the chronica repo, which was the repo of my website.
  4. The push triggered GitHub Actions to run, which ran Ammonite, mdoc, and CommonMark to transform and enrich the markdown into html.
  5. After building the created html pages got uploaded and hosted on Vercel
  6. A similar process happened when I add a blog post and push it up manually

This was also a really fun project to set up and learn more about various tools. However, it was also a bit of a hassle to manage if I ever wanted to change anything. It was sort of like I built the entire system, and then if I wanted to change something, the entire system needed to change. During this time I also stopped logging my free time, which is a whole other story, and also just wanted to simplify the process further. That’s what lead me to my current process.

The current process

The way that the site is currently built is quite simple. It just uses Pandoc to transform my markdown pages you see in the repo into html pages. I have some custom html partials that include the various parts of the site and the style. The entire thing is just built with this script via GitHub Actions, and then automatically deployed to Vercel. So far I’ve found that this site is incredibly fast and easy to manage. Pandoc is also a joy to work with. That’s pretty much it, and that’s all I really want.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris