Bye bye Blogger
This site used to be hosted by Blogger. Blogger is nice if you just want to write about mundane things. For posting code snippets however, it just isn’t a very good choice. From the very beginning of devcry (now over seven years ago), I’ve been unhappy with Blogger’s online editor because it has no proper support for posting code snippets;
- having to convert ‘
<’ and ‘
>’ symbols to ‘
<’ and ‘
>’ because of HTML
- fighting automatic reformatting done by Blogger
- lack of syntax highlighting
Surely, we can do better. The new devcry uses
markdown as the source
for all articles.
markdown is easy to write as well as to read in its
plain ASCII form, and is easily transformed into a good-looking web page.
You can think of
markdown as an improved wiki syntax. I fell in love with it
the day I saw it. If you don’t know it, check out the documentation at
Archive nav bar
Blogger had this great archive browser that I wanted to keep. I see many handcoded blogs today lacking such an archive browser, typically they list only a few recent posts instead. Strangely, a full archive browser is not trivially implemented. The nav bar is global to the entire site, so you’d think it could be a static element that is generated only once, and then be loaded with each article. It’s more like the opposite is true.
I experimented with an
iframe, but it wouldn’t play nice. Then I actually
implemented an AJAX nav bar that would dynamically be loaded into the page,
they only index static pages. So that is one important reason to include a
full nav bar into each and every page. Whenever a new post is made, the
content management system (CMS) will rewrite all pages to include the updated
It is kind of crazy that anno domini 2015 the web has no good solution to this. You could also try server-side includes (SSI), but this requires server support. Although I currently run my own webserver, I can’t have devcry rely on that.
The CMS that I use is a home-made Python script, tailored specifically to
the needs of this site. It generates the pages from a template and the
markdown source texts. It handles some special tags like ‘
provide proper support for images, an area where
markdown is a bit lacking.
There isn’t much magical going on here, once you realize that a lightbox is
nothing but HTML + CSS by itself. When you click on the image, the
div tag into the HTML.
div holds the whole lightbox. It is styled with CSS to pop up front:
background-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.7);
Eight years is a long time, and a hundred posts ain’t half bad. Some old
posts contain small errors, and sometimes I hated on C++, while
I truly appreciate it nowadays. The history of the blog reflects changes
I found some old rants that I wrote even before The Developer’s Cry. I think it was the precursor to this site, laying down the basis. I wasn’t any good at HTML and CSS back then, so Blogger was a logical choice. Beginning this year, I felt like moving away from Blogger. It seemed like the time was right.
Bye bye Blogger, and be good. You have served us well.