I recently acquired a new domain; having decided that
a little unwieldy, I decided to look around for something a little shorter,
http://jonrshar.pe (registered in Peru; Nathan Barley,
eat your heart out). However, although I wanted it primarily for email (
purposes, I thought it would be nice to have something up for people to look at
if they wandered onto the domain.
Having recently become aware of Polymer, a Web Components library whose
elements implement Google's "material design", I thought I would give it
a go; getting a better grip of the front-end technologies (principally HTML,
get stuck into. Installing its components was a matter of getting Node.js, then
Bower (the de-facto web package manager), then Polymer itself. Already that's
another two things to add to my list, and that's before we get into the various
things I've (skim-)read about putting together a development workflow with Grunt
and TravisCI (which I've used on a Python project before).
Writing the site itself was actually reasonably straight-forward; Polymer has extensive documentation (although some of it's a bit of a work-in-progress) with examples for the majority of the components. Slotting together the various parts to build a site with a simple, one-page internal navigation system didn't take too long, although there was a bit of back and forth and trial and (lots of) error before it looked neat. It's a nicely modular system, at least; although I'm not yet making best use of it, you can relatively easily create reusable components to drop in where required. And it does look nice, a very modern, "flat" approach you might expect from Google.
Local testing also proved a little trickier than expected - now that JS is
involved I can no longer test via
file://, so had to get Apache properly set
up to host from
~/Sites That meant more tinkering with config files in
(one day I will definitely learn more shortcuts than
!q, aka "get me out of
here!", honest...) and another list item (I really don't like relying on
things I don't understand, but this list's getting longer faster than I can keep
up with it!)
Next I needed somewhere to host it; Divshot offers free static site hosting with a neat web front-end and a command line tool that starts up like an 80s computer game:
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It also manages multiple versions of the site, allowing a separation between the development version and staging and live deployments, as well as easy rollbacks in case I screw something up (which seems all-too-likely at this point).