Gaël Varoquaux

Thu 09 October 2014


New website

I am moving my website to a new design, relying on Pelican and more modern CSS.

So far, I had been using rest2web to generate the static part of the website, and a local install of wordpress for the blog. I wasn’t doing good on keeping the wordpress install up to date, and I eventually got hacked. It was hurting my desire of simplicity to need a dynamic website. The combination of Pelican for my content, and Disqus suits very well my need, as it enables me to have a simpler website, and still have blog posts and discussions.

I also took the opportunity to clean up the website, remove some old content, and move my travel pictures to flickr.

Technical choices

  • Pelican for the core engine. I like the fact that it generates a static blog, that it uses restructured text to store the content, and jinja as a templating engine.

    One interesting aspect of redoing my website with a more modern content managment system was that I could lay out the information based on tags and categories, rather than the old way of having a tree of nested topics. This is much more flexible because one article is likely to fall in many topics. Modern information organization is moving away from the notion of path used to access to an entry, to the notion of set of properties (tags here).

  • Pure CSS as a CSS base layer. I chose to use Pure CSS rather than Bootstrap as it is a pure CSS framework (no javascript) and it is much lighter. I find that Bootstrap websites can easily slow down browsing (due to download size and javascript). Bootstrap also does play very well with html documents in which ones doesn’t control the class tags, as those generated from restructured text. But that’s true of most web front-end frameworks. Another option was Foundation. I didn’t explore it in details, but it looked like an interesting tradeoff between Pure, which is very bare bones, and Bootstrap, the heavy lifter. I chose to go for the most lightweight option, because I had simple needs.

    A result of using more modern CSS is that the website should look good on any screen size, from very large screens to mobile phones.

Go Top