I’ve been getting tired of keeping my WordPress plugins up to date for the sake of some very old blog posts, so I figured it was time I switched back to a static site generator. Last time I did this, I used Pelican, this time around I’ve picked Hugo, mostly for the chance to play with a shiny new thing. Migration wasn’t very complicated - I got most the way there by exporting my WordPress site as an XML file, and then this repo did most the heavy lifting.
On Library Closures
Update (July 2019) Essex County Council committed in July 2019 to not closing any libraries in Essex until at least 2024, see this news story. Our local library, a short walk from our house, is closing. The local council is soliciting feedback, and at the end of a long series of questions there was a comments box. I thought I’d take the opportunity to write something. I imagine my words went into the void, so I’m sharing them here.
Let's Encrypt & iTunes podcasts
Update (April 2018): Apple appear to have fixed this in late 2016 - see this article from feed.press. Two podcasts I run have disappeared from the iTunes podcast store. After a few baffling evenings spent debugging a rather frustrating “Can’t read feed” error, it turns out the problem is fairly simple. The iTunes Store’s support for SSL is a bit disappointing, to say the least. To get a podcast into the iTunes store, you need to make sure your SSL set-up is supported by Java 6.
Managing nginx configuration files
I run quite a few websites now, and I decided it was probably time I stopped editing nginx configuration files on the server, reloading nginx, and seeing what happened. I came across a post from Tyler Gaw, which explained a setup fairly close to what I wanted. My setup’s a little different, so I thought I’d write about how I got it working. First off, I put this line in the http block of /etc/nginx/nginx.
nginx & letsencrypt.sh
I’ve started using Let’s Encrypt a lot, for all my domains in fact. Previously, I’ve been using letsencrypt-auto, and stopping my webserver every time I want to renew a certificate. This is probably fine (all the sites and domains I run are low traffic, and can afford to be down for 30s or so when certificates need renewing every few months), except a flaw in my process for renewing certificates meant I took my webserver down for 12 hours or so.
Setting up Digital Ocean to run WordPress
I’ve recently started launching WordPress sites - starting with Talitha, and now this site. In my haste to move a few sites that seemed like they’d work better as WordPress sites, I appear to have over-loaded my single Digital Ocean droplet, so it’s time to spin up a new one. As ever with Digital Ocean, they have an incredibly good tutorial on setting up WordPress on Ubuntu1, but since I like automating things, I thought it was worth recording the steps I took (partly for my reference).
Moving away from Cloudflare
I was a very happy user of Cloudflare for a year or so, primarily after hearing about Universal SSL, following a failed attempt to get an SSL setup which SSL Labs approved of. I felt uneasy about it - it seemed like I was intentionally MITM’ing all my sites by passing them through Cloudflare’s network. Whilst I trust Cloudflare1, I didn’t like the idea that they could (if they wanted) take a look at every authentication attempt on my site.
Travis and tox revisited
Two years on, and I still love the combination of tox and Travis. I still write changes to my tox.ini and .travis.yml files separately, despite having written a tool for this. It occurred to me yesterday that there was a better way of writing this now - since tox now has a command for listing out what environments are set up (something which I think didn’t exist when I wrote the original Python script).
Prototyping with staticjinja
I’ve started building a website for a friend of mine, who works for an organisation called Talitha. I wanted to get something up and running quickly (since I figured a website was better than no website), so I just started playing with Bootstrap. From there, I had an idea of what I wanted the site to look like, and all was well. I threw up a single page site that introduced the organisation a little bit.
Firefox & Bootstrap 3 Glyphicons
I’m currently working on a site which uses Bootstrap 3, and makes significant use of glyphicons. As of Bootstrap 3, glyphicons are back to being web-font based. They look fine in Chrome (which is my main desktop browser), and in Safari on iOS, but I recently noticed they didn’t work on my Android phone. Initially, I thought it might be an Android problem, but then I spotted that they didn’t work in desktop Firefox either.