Person walking on a railroad bridge
Image credit: Dan Gribbin

Starting over ... yet again!

OK … here we go! … again! Yes, I am again re-starting this blog. And yes, I again have this urge to write more … a lot more. In fact, it’s (almost) a carving or pent-up desire. Too much? Probably. Anyway, this is a New Year’s Resolution that has been years in the making, so I’ll definitely give it a good try!

As with my previous attempt, I’m again trying out a new platform. I decided to switch to a self-hosted flat-file CMS called Grav as it’ll give me a lot more control over the system itself. I also get to play around with the back-end code and various plug-ins. In short: I get to write and code!

The core of Grav is written in PHP and it uses the Twig templating system to display pages. All content is written using Markdown and then saved to (flat) text files. I store everything on Bitbucket and use Git to push up/pull down content to/from local development environment and my web server. Sure, this is a (very) nerdy way to do this, but it works well for me.

I also run a local copy of this blog on my laptop so that I can experiment with code, styling, and various 3rd-party plugins. One goal is to help the Grav community with fixing various bugs in the core and in plug-ins. But I also intend to create new plugins for Grav.

My first adventure in this space has been to tweak an existing Flickr plug-in. I forked the source code from an existing plug-in that had some problems, and it doesn’t seem like this particular plug-in has been maintained in a while. I’m already using my new version here on this site and will release it to the public once i’ve ironed out a few issues.

Now, as for the content, I do intend to write a lot more often — probably not daily, but hopefully a few times per week. My (new) strategy is to write shorter posts more frequently, and I think hope this approach will help me establish writing as a core habit much faster. I maintain ideas for blog posts (and other stuff) in EverNote notebooks.

This means I can write drafts on any of my devices and pretty much anywhere I am when I have a bit of extra time. I travel quite a bit for work which means I spend a lot of time in airports and planes, sitting in lobbies, waiting for meetings, and so on.

So … there it is! I now have no excuses not to write 😉