A new website!

mgsloan


Welcome to my new blog site! I kept around the old blog as a single page, for posterity.

How the site generation works

I knew I wanted to use static site generation for my blog, and generate simple HTML that loads fast. Since I'm a big fan of using Haskell, I also had a preference for configuring and extending the site in Haskell. The most obvious answer to this would be the hakyll static site generator.

I didn't want to start from scratch – much more efficient to build off someone else's site! Many hakyll sites publish their source code, and there is a list of sites using hakyll, so I clicked every single one using Hakyll 4 to see which ones caught my eye.

I noted down quite a few sites, but one that really caught my eye was Ruud van Asseldonk's site. It has a lot of the attributes I was looking for. In particular, it prioritizes simplicity and keeping the download size minimal. It also looks great to me! With the combination of nice typography, the particular shade of red highlights, and the background color, it really reminded me of Tufte's books, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

So, I took a look at the code for Ruud's site, and was a bit surprised to see that it was using a custom static site generator instead of hakyll. At first, this put me off using it as a basis, but then I realized that it had some nice advantages:

Due to these reasons, I decided to base my site off of Ruud's design and generator instead of using hakyll. This is not really a criticism of hakyll – I didn't really give it a fair shot. I find this custom site generator approach to be quite nice, though.

Ruud kindly gave me the go-ahead to base my site off of his. You can check out the code on github. I've tweaked the layout a fair bit, and I'm use google fonts instead of the beautiful and proprietary calluna family of fonts. Particularly due to the fonts, I think his site is substantially better looking than mine :-)

More words

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