§Save, and Save Often

Now that I’ve been using Hexo for about nine months I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. Since I don’t post often it’s pretty easy to manage the content without needing something heavier (or DB-backed) to keep track of everything.

Luckily I’m also running this on GitLab and have been committing and pushing updates regularly. Everything had been running smoothly… up until March 1st. I thought I might be a little out-of-date with some of the packages I’m using in npm so I ran npm update in my site directory, committed the changes, and pushed up to my repo.

Build failed.

Sonofa. Check the logs and see this right at the end:

$ hexo deploy
ERROR Local hexo not found in   /builds/********/********  
ERROR Try running: 'npm install hexo --save'  
ERROR: Job failed: exit code 1

Ok, easy enough (or so I thought). Just roll back one commit and I should be set. Didn’t work, more because of my lack of git and npm knowledge than anything else. I ended up fixing it by merging an older version into the master, pulling changes, and pushing back up to the repo. This happened over the course of a few hours, working on it when I had a few minutes at a time. The quick(ish) version was something like this:

git pull
git checkout -b {branch}
{edits, install correct version}
git checkout master
git fetch
git merge {branch}
{resolve a couple of conflicts}
git pull
git push

At least I’ll remember to make a new branch before updating next time - I also have the Hexo version pinned in my CI configuration (to make sure it works with GitLab pages). This was a good learning experience, and hopefully something I won’t have to do again… for this project anyway.

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Laying it Out

§…or, architecting the site before I know better

I like Hexo so far. It’s easy to work with, I’m learning a lot along the way, and almost have it set up on all of my systems (GitLab makes it easy).

Next I need to find some best practice info on Hexo, related to folder structure. It’s great that I can do whatever I want; it’s tough that I can do whatever I want.

§The What

A lot of what I’m doing will fall under the “blog” but I have other content that I want to post. Lists of Android Apps, Windows Apps, Linux apps, Podcasts, and more - across several categories for each area. There’s also writing that I’ve done and the Spark File (ok, files) I have.

Maybe the more generalized version of the breakdown is: braindump into the post entries, more organized stuff into pages. I’ll probably change my mind about a dozen times before I get much further…

§To Do

  • Theme
  • Layout
  • Plugins
  • Write, write, write

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In the Middle

§It’s Not the Beginning

I can’t count how many times I’ve “started over” this site since it began in May of 2003. I’m sure that if I looked hard enough I could pull up the archived version of everything from the Greymatter, Drupal, and Dokuwiki versions, along with the little one-off pages. I don’t plan on it though; at least not any time in the near future. Maube instead of the middle this is more of a rebirth.

Now? I’m right in the middle. The middle of the year, middle of projects at work and home, hell I’m even middle aged(ish). Middle-age isn’t too bad so far - no plans for a fast car or big changes, I have enough to work on as it is. Still learning and trying apply what I’m learning to life. Sometimes that’s easy; a lot of the time it isn’t.

I’m even in the middle of designing this site, again. Definitely not giving up, just slowly building back up to being visible again.

Luckily I’ve found an SSG (Static Site Generator) that I like, called Hexo. No crazy setup, javascript based, and plays nice with GitLab and GitHub - along with plenty of other options. Posts are written in Markdown so they’re readable by people and machines, no fancy editor needed.

I might backfill some of the posts from other places, or just link to them at some point. It’s really just filling out more of the middle stuff until I can find the edges.

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Family man, big geek, awesome beard.

Application Support, ISIT