A third redesign?

The grass is always greener on the other side

So we’re already on astrid.tech v2, despite the fact that the footer still says v1. However, I’m feeling like my website is not very flexible anymore, and I want to redesign.

Why the hell do I want to redesign my website again? There are a couple reasons.

  1. My current setup is inflexible, hacked-together, and shitty. It would be quite a pain to add a new post type, like a note, recipe, or a RSVP, or other things that IndieWeb people post.

  2. My website is somewhat bloated. JavaScript makes up a whopping 300 KB of stuff downloaded on the homepage! I want to cut down on that value.

  3. I want to connect my website with other services. For instance, I want to syndicate my posts to Twitter, Mastodon, or other services, and syndicate other data back onto my website automatically, and to do that would require a bunch of additional code. I also want to send and receive webmentions, and in a less-janky way than I have now.

The only question now is, what am I going to use to redesign my website? I have a couple of criteria in considering this.

  • I like having my posts and content being markdown files in a Git repository. It makes everything editor-agnostic and avoids pitfalls with database storage of posts.
  • I like statically-typed languages over dynamically-typed languages.
  • I’m interested in trying something new. Maybe a wacky functional or functional-ish language, like Scala, which I’m familiar with, or Haskell or Rust, which I’ve never used before.
  • Keeping my 8000 LOC of React would be great, but I may just have to end up throwing it out. Oh well.

There are a couple of decisions I can make.

  • Go fully dynamic. This would make programming complicated stuff a bit easier, but it would leave my website possibly prone to attacks. I have a couple of options for doing this.
    • Extend my Python/Django API server. This would be an easy option, but I honestly don’t like Python all that much because it’s a dynamically-typed language.
    • Extend my Rust/Rocket link shortener. Rust is also pretty cool, though I’m not too familiar with it. I could just build off of my link shortener, though.
    • Fuck it, brand new server! I could write a new server in Scala. I heard they also improved the compile times since I last used it 6 years ago. It also has pretty good tooling.
  • Stay with the strange static/dynamic thing. To receive webmentions and webhooks and comments, after all, I will need a running server.
    • Go back to Gatsby. It’s an appealing option; Gatsby includes more batteries for blog sites than Next.js. But then again, I do want to try something new.
    • Write my own static site generator! This has been in the works for a while. I’m experimenting with writing one in Haskell right now. Unfortunately, I’m shit at Haskell, so it’s going about as well as you’d expect.

I think it’s still possible to preserve some of my React libraries and UI, though. I would just serve it as custom elements.

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