Day 42 - Analytics time!

More devblog
Close up photo of keyboard keys.
| 'TYPE' by SarahDeer is licensed with CC BY 2.0 |

Project Scope and ToDos

  1. Static Site Generator that can build the blog and let me host it on Github Pages
  2. I want to write posts in Markdown because I'm lazy, it's easy, and it is how I take notes now.
  3. I don't want to spend a ton of time doing design work. I'm doing complicated designs for other projects, so I want to pull a theme I like that I can rely on someone else to keep up.
  4. Once it gets going, I want template changes to be easy.
  5. It should be as easy as Jekyll, so I need to be able to build it using GitHub Actions, where I can just commit a template change or Markdown file and away it goes. If I can't figure this out than fk it, just use Jekyll.
  6. I require it to be used by a significant percent of my professional peers so I can get easy answers when something goes wrong.
  7. I want source maps. This is a dev log site which means whatever I do with it should be easy for other developers to read.
  • Also this TOC plugin mby?

  • Use Data Deep Merge in this blog.

  • Decide if I want to render the CSS fancier than just a base file and do per-template splitting.

  • Can I use the template inside of dinky that already exists instead of copy/pasting it?
  • Is there a way to have permalinks to posts contain metadata without organizing them into subfolders?
  • How do I cachebreak files on the basis of new build events? Datetime? site.github.build_revision is how Jekyll accomplishes this, but is there a way to push that into the build process for Eleventy?

  • Make link text look less shitty. It looks like it is a whole, lighter, font.

  • Code blocks do not have good syntax highlighting. I want good syntax highlighting.

  • Build a Markdown-it plugin to take my typing shortcuts [prob, b/c, ...?] and expand them on build.

  • See if we can start Markdown's interpretation of H tags to start at 2, since H1 is always pulled from the page title metadata. If it isn't easy, I just have to change my pattern of writing in the MD documents.
  • Should I explore some shortcodes?

  • Order projects listing by last posted blog in that project

  • Limit the output of home page post lists to a specific number of posts

  • Show the latest post below the site intro on the homepage.

  • Tags pages with Pagination

  • Posts should be able to support a preview header image that can also be shown on post lists.

  • Create a Markdown-It plugin that reads the project's repo URL off the folder data file and renders commit messages with links to the referenced commit. (Is this even possible?) (Is there a way to do it with eleventy instead?)

  • Create Next Day/Previous Day links on each post / Next/Previous post on post templates from projects

  • Tags should be in the sidebar of articles and link to tag pages

  • Create a skiplink for the todo section (or would this be better served with the ToC plugin?) - Yes it would be!

  • Add a Things I Learned section to the project pages that are the things I learned from that specific project.

  • Add a technical reading log to the homepage

  • Hide empty sections.

  • Add byline to post pages

  • Have table of contents attach to sidebar bottom on mobile

  • Support dark mode

  • Social Icons

  • SEO/Social/JSON-LD HEAD data

Day 42

Ok. This site is almost ready to go. There are some enhancements I still want to do to code blocks and I want to add some more advanced content to tag pages, but it is at the point where I want to take this and show it to other people.

So one of the things I want to do is set up privacy-respecting analytics. I polled folks on this a while back and got some options. I considered them and have basically come down to two options: Plausible or Fathom. I'm going to read around both of them.

They both seem very privacy forward. They run in the EU to use GDPR to help them protect data. They both contribute to climate issues and have smart export settings. I think they both seem like fine services. I'm leaning towards Plausible because it is slightly cheaper, more open source, and the script itself seems to be just slightly lighter-weight (though they are both very lightweight). Also, I sort of like the idea of opening up my analytics to anyone. I think I'm going to start there. Oh... interesting... they let me do the 30 day trial for free, without entering anything credit card wise!

Very cool. Let's try it out.

git commit -am "Early commit to try out Plausible"

Ok, it works, and I can flip on a public dashboard as well!

Oh and it has a nice Google Search Console integration. I'll set that up as well. Huh, can I add a TXT record but there but it looks like this whole process has changed somewhat since the last time I was there. Ok. That's fine. I can get it working easily enough. Seems to be integrated now!

I guess that's it, it's working? Yeah! Ok. Well I don't think there's much blocking me now, I hit almost everything I wanted to hit.

There are a few features I'd still like to implement here, but I think things are well formed enough that I can put this out there for feedback. Last thing to do is some touch up regarding featured images, tags and titles that I can take care of tonight or tomorrow.