Return of the Bliki

Yesterday, spurred by the re-emergence of Zettelkasten through a set of new tools such as Obsidian, I decided to reacquaint this site with its early origins as a personal Wiki and turned on Wiki-style backlinks again (you’ll find them at the bottom of every page that is referenced somewhere else).

I did that in a couple of hours that also involved refreshing dependencies and making sure the site could be redeployed without breaking anything, and after a soaking period and some minor cosmetic tweaks I think I’ll call them “done”.

There’s also a new approach to tags and page metadata, but that’s part of the internals and a “target of opportunity” I decided to tackle simultaneously, since the underlying mechanisms are identical.

Back when this site had a “normal” Wiki layout, backlinks were a bit disconcerting to many people since they tended to balloon on some often-referenced pages, but I’m trimming the list to only a few references and adding a bit more context, so this time I think they’ll be less obtrusive while providing some enjoyable paths through the brambles of sixteen years’ worth of content.

The Ineffable Essence Of Coding

It felt really nice to hack in the extra SQLite tables and fix a few things that I had meant to do since 2015 or so, and I’d say that the early move to Python 3 and the switch to piku have paid off handsomely in terms of maintainability.

After all, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve had to re-engineer anything of consequence (even adding posting content via git had near-zero impact on the code itself), so I don’t think it will be worthwhile to do major changes in the engine itself (like porting it to Go or do it as “originally intended” in Clojure).

I keep thinking about making this a fully static site, but going back and tweaking the markup of a few thousand of its 7900+ entries to port all of my content across is not something I am interested in doing right now.

The layout, however, might be worth sprucing up a bit. I like it a lot (and love Georgia for its readability), but after six months of meetings, paperwork and e-mail (that despite everything good that came with it still feels too much like “make work” to my engineer self) I need to code and build something new or else I’ll just go borderline insane.