Day 14 – Portfolio, math, CSS and stuff

During long projects, especially unpaid ones, which don’t provide gratification for many months, even a year or longer, it’s hard to keep motivation high. So it’s probably time to remind myself why SlothCMS exists.

WordPress is a great piece of software for bloggers and as every general purpose content management system (CMS) it has features that don’t work in specific circumstances. In my case it falls short mostly in Art Direction area and technical blogging. So in front of me were two choices, (1) digging deep into then very new Gutenberg and innards of WordPress to bend it to my liking or (2) starting making CMS from scratch. As an enemy of conversion therapies, for Autistic and Queer people, starting to write new CMS was and still is more reasonable of the two.

As someone who will have her hands in front-end development in one way or another it’s important to me to be able to create examples and show them working, not just a screenshot or video. There are plugins like the one from CodePen which allows to embed demos into posts. On one hand it’s a great functionality, on the other there’s a problem with third party services and plugins.

Third party service can be shut down or terms can change. There’s no guarantee that CodePen or JSBin will be here next year or that pick pocket doesn’t steal my credit card just in time for payment which will break demos and code examples on my blog. At this point it doesn’t feel safe.

As for plugin problem. The oldest post here was published in Fall 2014 and it’s broken1. Both the demo and the text. The text relies on a plugin that isn’t installed at the moment and I don’t remember its name, so there are tags in square brackets in the text. Having my blog for over five years means that I am stuck with some plugins like the code highlighter which hasn’t been updated in four years although it still works great.

So if I there’s going to be overhaul, it should be done grounds up. From initial end goal where my wants were ability to do advanced art direction for every post, if I wanted to, and being able to host demos in blog posts it’s getting somewhere else. My confidence as a software developer is growing and so are my end goals which now include having an editor which will be WYSIWYG and something like observable and jupyter notebooks to meet my data viz and sci interests, editors for MathML and R would be neat, and possibly JS framework if I am able to figure out how to keep Progressive Enhancement in it.

SlothCMS is a long project which makes sense to me but there are days when the end of the tunnel can’t be seen. So today I wrote more of a motivational post than anything else.

  1. I had to check