← Liam Cardenas

This is a Living, Breathing Web-Performant, Privacy-Respecting Website

My quest to create a personal website and be good citizen of the web.
July 28, 2020

This website is a work-in-progress. My goal is to make something I am truly proud of as a home for my content. I have professional experience as a web developer, but truth-be-told, I was never one for the web part of it (I lived in JavaScript land).

This site is a departure from my comfort zone. I want to design it myself and implement it in a new way. This site is based on my vision for the web, and if you like it, you can read further and view the source on Github. There is a lot more I wish to do on this site, however, I don't have unlimited time to develop it fully. I am rushing this first version out so I can start posting content and will be back to update this page as I go.

The Good Web Citizen Philosophy

The Internet is something I cherish and I aim to preserve its spirit. Perhaps one day I will try to codify the spirit of the Internet into laws, but for now I will simply paint the picture of what a good webmaster-citizen should do. These are the requirements for my website:

Implemented

Partially Impemented

Not Yet Implemented

There is a fantastic platform called Write.as that has fully implemented most of these features and embodies these ideals. The only reason I am not using them is because I want more control over my source code. I believe I can implement it better if I have full control, and take these ideas to new heights (over time). This will be covered more in detail in the technical implementation section below.

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Aligning the Design with the Philosophy

The single biggest design inspiration for this site is Practical Typography, a project I greatly admire. Through typography, it is possible to create a minimalistic site that adheres to the objectives laid out above. Subtle factors like adjusting the line height can make a simple design suddenly look elegant. However, I am breaking one major rule: don't use default system fonts. While that generally seems like a good rule, I am using the default font in order to make a statement that it is unnecessary to import assets to have a good site. It would be possible to find another system font, but I like it this way better. That said, I may add a custom font in the future, since it is a great way to make a design look very polished without relying on large images or fancy designs.

Another minor influence for this site Roam Research (notice the different looking link-style). I will use this format for links to other posts and pages on my site. Roam pioneered the use of double brackets around connected pages and I love the aesthetic.

Lastly, Superhuman and, to a lesser extent, Linear are inspirational due to their focus on performance. They have great taste in that respect.

Technical Implementation

I have many technical goals for this blog, but right now it's very crude. Currently, I hacked together a template and am typing this article in-line to the html. My goal will be to create a custom static site generator that will process text files the exact way that I want. I could certainly use existing static site generators for this purpose, but I thought it would be fun to implement one myself.

At first, I will host the site using Github, however, I plan on switching over to AWS shortly. I am open to considering different data centers, but I want one that helps me meet my objectives, such as being Tor-friendly (supposedly CloudFlare is bad at this) and loading quickly (AWS, among others, is good at this).

I have many other ideas of directions I could take this, but it is important that I start small. Ultimately, my blog is just an artistic medium I am using to distribute my writing. I run a start up full-time and need to get to writing, so I will slowly but surely improve this blog.

In conclusion, please check back on this page for updates on my progress. As the title suggestions, this is a living, breathing document. I will update the text and the website implementation as I go.

1The only exception I am considering so far is (if JavaScript is enabled) to copy my contact email to the clipboard rather than annoyingly launching a mailto: link.