Soft relaunch

I've been playing around with Eleventy last summer and published this website by end of August. By then there was no CSS but I'd been struggling to have drafts and a working comment section. Since then I've been collecting links and ideas on which direction I could follow, but I haven't been concretely working on it.

One of the reason for this lack of update was that I started working on another side project which I hope to be done with soon. In order to be able to talk about this project somewhere, I really felt like I need to have this blog ready, so I've been putting some efforts into it lately. Here's what I've been doing:

  • Adding some styling (with a basic dark mode and some variable fonts);
  • Removing NetlifyCMS, I'll probably add a headless CMS later on again, once I understand my needs better;
  • Removing the comment system based on a Google sheet. I'd like to avoid relying on Google as much as possible;
  • Implementing a new comment system based on Dropbox files.

I've been struggling a lot with the comment system again. I know Webmentions would be the logical way to go but I'm quite old-school and really enjoy having an onsite comment section. There are different way to achieve this, Koos Looijesteijn and Darek Kay articles were really helpful to identify pros and cons. To achieve good performance and own the content of the comments, I've decided to go against third-party libraries at browse-time. I probably would have spare myself some trouble by manually copy/pasting the few comments I might get in the future, but it was an interesting challenge for me to implement a semi-automatic solution.

After quickly giving another shot to Staticman with Netlify functions and failing somewhere, I've decided to use Zapier to store each comment in a Dropbox folder. To approve a comment, I move it to another folder which triggers a new Netlify build. It's quite straightforward and the most complicated part was to use the Dropbox API with Node to save the files and pass them as Data to Eleventy. My JavaScript skill level is horrendous and I've probably been taking some terrible decisions, but it seems to work so far.

Now this website is probably some kind of basic MVP, but a lot will change in the future. I still plan on reading Frank Chimero's redesign process and maybe do something similar, I definitely want to let this website be a worry stone.