starting fresh and archiving old blog posts

2022-09-21 00:06

okay, so this post marks the start of a wonderful informal blog about my thoughts, feelings, and programming adventures.

i already had a blog with posts, but i archived all of those posts, because they felt too professional or formal for something that was supposed to be a personal website.

originally, i was going to just delete them from my website and back them up to a directory on my computer, but then i realized that some friends reference some of the stuff i wrote, so i figured i should keep them up. unfortunately, my new website generator doesn't generate ids for headings, so i can't create anchor links without writing plain HTML. this meant that all of the anchor links in my old blog posts were broken, which was another reason i wanted to delete all of the old ones, because i don't have the energy to update them all, and it wouldn't make my website fun to maintain anymore.

i also wanted to simplify the css a bit, to kind of match my new approach to blogging, so getting rid of old tables, images, and random block elements was nice, because that meant that i could get rid of the css rules i had to write for them.

after spending some time, thinking about how to keep old blog posts without breaking them, while allowing me to use new css rules, i decided that i would regenerate all of my old blog posts with my old website generator, which used pandoc under the hood. this meant that all headings would get an id attribute, and all of my old instructional blog posts wouldn't be broken anymore. after generating static html files of the posts, i just copied all of them into my assets/ directory in my homepage source, which just gets copied over to my build directory as-is.

another thing i did was edit the code for my old website generator, so pandoc created inline css for each of the old blog posts, so i didn't have to have an extra style.css file in the archive directory, but also so i don't try to touch or alter them later on, because i know i'll get the urge to edit some of the older technical writing-adjacent posts, and because it would be too tedious to edit each page's inline css.

regarding my new approach to my homepage, i think the fact that heading ids aren't generated is a good thing for me, because i enjoy writing unstructured posts like this, and not having the ability to link to headings means less of an urge to create instructions, which i want to save for my programming projects or work portfolio.

i guess john gruber's original intention was to write a blogging language, not a technical documentation language, so by using something that renders so similarly to the original markdown parser, i guess it only makes sense that it's enabled my desire to write unstructured blog posts?

maybe i just like writing paragraph after paragraph because it's not something i can do as a technical writer in my day job. maybe it's just because i like writing my thoughts out without any particular goal. i guess i also hope to turn this into some kind of journal or diary too.