Bob Loblaw Law Blog (Meta #1)

I don’t know why I chose that title. Just thought it was funny. And yes, it’s a reference to a tv show.

This is going to be something of a “meta” entry, about WordPress and this blog itself. It will probably be long and rambly and stray off track. It’s okay though, it’s just a meta thing I hardly expect anybody to read.

I’ve used WordPress before and I think I even tried a free WP blog before but I never got very far because I couldn’t understand how to make the formatting work and look the way I wanted.

This is still an issue for me but this time I feel like I’m learning things and slowly improving.

As I write this I’m still on the “free tier” with WordPress. I actually do have a domain already purchased and paid up for years to come. I just haven’t decided if I want to both pay for the next tier up of WP as well assigning over my domain name which I assume I would retain the rights to. But I may do that if I cancel some other subscription and assuming maybe someone seems to actually read this blog.

I realized at some point I have to make actual blog entries and content to really explore how different parts of the WP interface work. So the more content I generate the more WP I can learn and the more WP I learn the easier it is to make more content in less time.

Originally I was going to use the web page building functionality of GitHub instead along with a “static site generator”, most likely Jekyll. I think I’ve mentioned this elsewhere. I actually made it through an entire 19 part playlist on YouTube describing pretty much every detail of how to install and configure Jekyll.

Before I had watched the playlist I actually had this elaborate plan involving GitHub and Amazon S3.

Amazon’s service – as an aside – is actually pretty cool and a lot less complex than I ever assumed. There are quite a few guides on how to set up a basic virtual machine with your OS of choice, assign it your purchased domain and make the OS publicly accessible with your domain. I did this back in late 2014 when the idea of the tildeverse sprouted up and I decided to participate because of course I did (this I will have to expand upon at a later date).

So the idea was that I would have a little Linux box or virtual machine I would use on my local network to experiment with. This would incrementally do a “git push” to the GitHub repo containing the GitHub pages version of the site. This version incrementing would happen regularly like every 48 hours. Then on the Amazon S3 instances there would be a scheduled task that would simply do a “git pull” to get the updated version of the site every two weeks or whatever.

The complexity would of course be increased by having “rough versions” locally using both Windows and Linux. Ya, git/static site generators/etc don’t work so well with Windows being so Linux-oriented.

After that 19 part YouTube playlist I realized exactly how complex and time consuming learning how to bend Jekyll to my will would be at all never mind on windows as well as how much time I would spend trying to get things to work through markdown and how much customization I would be doing with the themes.

In other words I had what I think was a very reasonable concern that I would spend more time on layout and color schemes than on the actual content. And that’s where I wanted to go with a new blog: lots of content. That’s where a blog is supposed to go, right?

So far I’ve learned that blog entry pages consist of “blocks” and in each block there’s what would otherwise be a paragraph to mark a new block. Each new block is created of the paragraph type by default.

And it’s taken me a a while to realize this but before anything has been written in this paragraph block the block type can be changed from a paragraph type to some other type. There’s a “separator” and a “list” and a table type. Tons of types really. On my links page I actually embedded a google sheets table in the page using…I think a custom HTML block using the sheets embed code. I couldn’t even find the solution for embedding that with a google search.

I also figured out blocks can be saved as “reusable” for later use and more importantly possibly those blocks can then be converted to a non-reusable block.

There are still a few things I haven’t learned with WP and I don’t know if I’m really going to dedicate the time necessary to do so. For instance I don’t see anyway of changing the font type for either the whole site or just one page in particular. I’m not sure if that’s something is locked in with the theme or I just haven’t found it yet. Or maybe it’s available in the non-free tiers. If it is available in free the setting in certainly well hidden for some reason.

One thing I have already started doing is starting posts and then leaving them public and publishing but scheduling the posts for some future date. This way I’ve given myself some time to write the post and a deadline to try and revise and review it before it “goes live”. I’ve decided I like this work flow a lot. Of course it’s all up to me anyway so I re-adjust the scheduled date any time I want. But I still like the work flow.

Right now for instance I’ve started a 3 part series (which flexibility on the number of parts) on dissecting and re-writing my advib program in PowerShell. I’m actually reading a PowerShell book at the moment in support of this.

Part 1 is just an introduction with part 2 as the dissection and part 3 as the re-write process. It might end up taking more than 3 parts. Point is I’ve scheduled them to published through out may giving me what I hope is enough time to complete part and I hope most of part 2 to give the max time for part 3.

Well this seems a great of a place as any to stop. I think I will eventually do another “meta”.

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