Yes, I know its been close to a year since I wrote anything. This was in part due to a decision to switch off the old WordPress based blog (PHP+mysql+....) to a static site. My theory was that I didn't need all the cruft ... and bells and whistles of WordPress, as it came with all the PHP baggage, and the burgeoning CMS that it had become. I just needed something to let me write, and people to comment.
So, based upon peoples recommendation, I looked into static site generators and importers. I settled on Hugo, which looked like it could handle what I wanted, and not get in my way.
The goal was, and is, to write, and enable commentary.
A secondary goal, which has become more important, is to make sure where I write is immune to cancellation. Thus if I say "dark matter may be understood physics and wrong numbers", I won't have twitter mobs of angered astrophysicists demanding my head on a platter, insisting upon hard cancellation for being a "dark matter denier" or other such idiocy.
BTW, physicists, astro and other, would not likely do this. Activists would, but I've not (yet) seen any dark matter activists.
Ok ... where was I ... oh yes, a blog. And Hugo.
Let me be blunt. Hugo sucks as a blogging platform. It is a static site generator, and it does that well. Blogging platform? Some (really lots of) assembly required. Some involving git, markdown, etc. I don't mind writing markdown, its not that painful when you have your cheat sheet up.
But setting up comments on Hugo ... Remember, blogging is about engaging with a community. Hugo is about static site generation. You can extend Hugo sites with additional code ... that you have to integrate your self, in an often quite painful manner.
Again, this is not a hit on Hugo. That is a fine piece of software, does what it says on the label. I'd recommend it for static sites.
Just not for blogs.
I missed the ease of writing associated with blog software. Again, not Hugo's fault. My hypothesis, that a static site generator made a good blogging platform for me, was at fault. So I rejected it, and started thinking the problem through.
Slowly I came to the realization that I needed the writing and publishing support side. I did not, and do not need the Content Management System, which WordPress had morphed into. I wanted to stay far away from the security nightmare that is PHP.
This in turn, led to a search and set of tests that eventually led me here. This platform had most of what I wanted, apart from a comment section. One could be created using SaaS type tooling.
But that violates my independence requirement. I don't want any of my tech stack to be cancelable by people who might disagree with my viewpoints. I'll probably write a bit about (US centric) 1st amendment rights, and what they mean in the age where the corporate courtyard, has replaced the public town square. But not right now.
Put another way, the entire stack is self hosted. And I want it self-contained in the sense of a single machine running all the bits. So I built that (virtual) machine. And installed the software. And configured it. Still in the process of checking my configs, so some things might not quite work at first, but I fully expect this to be a reasonable platform to use.
Note that I have no intent to monetizing this platform, so readers should expect no ads, no tracking cookies, nothing one would construe to be privacy invasive. And please don't take my word for it, if you catch something that looks amiss, please let me know, quickly. I will treat my readers as I wish to be treated.