With 2020 being a year that has seen almost everything normal being turned upside down, including our lives, I thought it might be high time for me to make good use of the free time I find myself with and get around to some spring-cleaning on the site. So hopefully I can give a brief update on how things have been for me so far in 2020 and how I’m hoping the site evolves in the foreseeable future. So let’s get started shall we.

First up, I thought it was high time that I shift away from WordPress towards something more sustainable for me to run. WordPress has pushed heavily towards their new block editor and has gotten far too clunky and bloated for my simple needs. So that left me with a few options:

  • Use a simpler blogging platform (such as Chyrp Lite);
  • move to a free blogging platform (e.g. Blogger, Tumblr)
  • shift to using a static site generator (SSG).
    And as you may have noticed I opted for option 3. I want to having the flexibility of running my own system and not being at the whims of the popular free blogging platforms out there as well as having something that is slimmed down and yet powerful. And this is exactly what a static site generator gives me.

I have of course dabbled before with using a SSG, namely Octopress, and come away a bit fearful of moving there full time simply due to the programmer / developer nature of SSG projects. But what 202 has allowed me to do is to invest some time in familiarizing myself with Git and SSGs to the point that I’m far more confident now in moving everything over to Hugo. I’m sure there will be plenty of teething problems and issues with the site but I’m more than happy to spend the time needed to work on it.

So in a nutshell, the site is now built using Hugo and using GitLab Pages as the backend. All I need is a text editor of my choice and I’m good to go with creating content and pushing it to my site via Git. Remarkably simple and easy to set up.

On the personal front, there’s nothing much to talk about. South Africa has just moved down to level 1 of its lockdown but I’m still unable to return home to Shanghai due to China still not being open. It’s very much a waiting game and unfortunately I have no idea when I might finally get to fly back, especially with the high prices of tickets currently. I’ve spent the time studying various aspects of development and Linux interspersed with plenty of gaming. I’ve also managed to get through a mountain of books that I’ve accumulated over my various visits back to SA. This might actually be the first year in a while that I’ll manage to make my Goodreads Reading Challenge target.

So all in all nothing too earth-shattering to report but I’m hopeful that I can get a more regular output on this site as well as one or two other projects that I’m working on right now. Stay tuned and stay safe.