My New Blog Software

by Octapoo

Monday, February 21, 2022 at 09:12:39 UTC

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A few years ago I stopped blogging on the internet and started blogging in Discord, but I was never happy about that decision, so I've written new blog software to address my reasons for that. In this post, I'll explain those reasons and talk about the new blog software.

So expect to see much more content in the future vs. the no content whatsoever of the last few years.

The main factor in my decision to switch to Discord was that it was just so much easier to include pictures or video there than it was on my blog, and so that's what I started doing.

However, I was never happy with that, for a few reasons:

1. I'd rather have my content on my site, not on someone else's site.

2. Discord is closed-off from the general internet, and so what I wrote had less visibility.

3. Discord has a 2,000 character limit per post, which is just insufferable. Granted, I was able to work around it by splitting posts into multiple messages, but it was a pain.

4. Discord leaves a lot to be desired when including multiple images in a post, as it displays them only at one size and never side-by-side.

So a little over a year ago, I finally decided to just fix what's wrong with my blog by writing new blog software that would make formatting and images easier. I worked on it for a month, then took an ten month break because it was so hard and seemed like it would never end, and then spent the last two months finishing it. I still wouldn't call it finished, but it's to the point now where I can no longer justify not going ahead and putting it to use.

The main new feature is this page:

On this page is a thumbnail of every image that's available to be used in a blog post. To include the images, all I have to do is type something like ti 43 44 45 46 47 and the result is this:

Thus, with relatively little effort, I'm able to create thumbnail-size images with links to their full-size images. Also, unlike Discord, they're all right next to each other.

I also have two other image sizes available, a small size which is about 1/3 of the width:

...and a large size which aims to be full-width:

I can also include videos:

Through the magic of CSS, everything will scale to a smaller size if you narrow your browser window, so even the large images look great on a smartphone.

I also added some mark-up things, like I can make these code snippet things I've been using by typing `code snippet` which is an idea I stole from Discord. I can also do whole code segments, when I have questions like "Why does this compile and work?"

#include <stdio.h> #include <stdlib.h> void function (int x) { printf("x = %d\n", x); }; void main () { void (*a) (int); void (*b) (int); void (**c) (int); void (**d) (int); void (**e) (int); void (**f) (int); void *t; a = function; b = &function; c = &a; d = &b; a(1); (*a)(2); b(3); (*b)(4); (*c)(5); (**c)(6); (*d)(7); (**d)(8); (**a)(9); (***a)(10); (****a)(11); (*****a)(12); int i[3]; int *j = i; c(5); };

There's an Atom/RSS feed, which is a necessity if I expect anyone to "subscribe" to my blog. The feed URL does both Atom and RSS and gives you whichever your Accept: headers indicate you want, and it'll even give you plain text if you want that. It defaults to Atom if the Accept: header doesn't convince it to do something else.

Finally, there's a comment system. Like with my old blog software, it involves readers submitting a comment which goes into a moderation queue so that I can reject spam. The comments are plain text, but are monospace and preserve indentation in case anyone wants to post code samples. I haven't however implemented the "anonymous comments" of the old software, at least not yet. I might as I did like the idea, but since my account creation only asks for a name and password, I don't think I'm asking a lot. However, I am slightly concerned that anything which makes commenting more difficult may result in fewer comments, so I might decide to implement it eventually.

Anyway, my plans at the moment are to announce the presence of this thing on the old software (there are a few people subscribed via RSS there) and then begin copying over the posts I've been making in Discord for the past two years.

This is new software so there may be bugs. If you spot any issues, you can post a comment here, or, if the bug is "I can't submit a comment" or you'd just like to include some screenshots or something, you can send an email or contact me via Discord.


February 21, 2022

Octapoo wrote...

I guess I should verify that it is possible to submit comments.

February 24, 2022

Big Yoshi wrote...

So cool!!! I like the little highlight when you hover over a thumbnail

If you were logged in, there would be a comment submission form here.
Creating an account is easy. You literally just type in a name and a password.
I don't want your email address, so there won't be any links in any emails to click.

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