This Website's Design
A few words on simple web development which won't make you suicidal

Why make the site in the first place?

I’ve started this website so that I can document a few projects that I have in mind. I definitely look forward to the idea of starting a blog as well, it seems like a good idea to write so I can walk through ideas I’ve had and revise my day in an A to B to C procedure. My writing has languished outside of academia, and to be honest even my mind feels dull and scattered. I may have some issues with my psyche, but I would at least like to be capable of maintaining a consistent train of thought. Hopefully this helps.

I also can’t think of anything less worthwhile than using Twitter, or any other alternative, and pretending that I care about anyone else while I do this. I’m sure there are perfectly lovely people I would get on with, but I just want a longform outlet for my thoughts. I don’t need statistics about impressions or likes, and I don’t particularly want any discursive conversation around the mundane aspects of my life or projects. I don’t care at the moment, this will probably change later, but not now at the very least.


In a very cruel turn of events, the website has become one of the most neglected facets of the internet. Outside of neocities, how often do you get to stumble across an interesting blog, a devlog with fascinating information, or a site with the sole purpose of being a piece of art? Virtually never, I’d imagine. The entire idea of a website is almost subsumed by capital at this point. It’s a tool for agents to facilitate services in the majority of cases. I know I’m not making an original point here, so I won’t linger on it, you’re probably sick fucking dead of reading it.

But on neocities and a few select niche communities, the experience is very different. I loved browsing neocities and finding thousands of websites created with so much care. Despite the fact that there’s an obvious predominance of certain aesthetics (namely that early 2000s cyber vibe, Lain, Breakcore and ARGs), there is so much variety here. The creativity here is unmatched, and that has given me a hope to contribute.

Features I Wanted

-Code Blocks and LaTeX

It’s not even negotiable, I enjoy coding, my projects will involve it, and I may never even use them. I still want to keep the option. Thankfully, it seems that’s not too big of an ask.

-Importance Levels for Articles

After reading Gwern’s site and seeing how they had implemented a level of importance to each of their articles, I decided that I definitely wanted to have something similar in my site. In truth, an incredible amount of inspiration came from Gwern. Unfortunately, their site is significantly more complex than the one I plan to make just now, and they use a tool called Hakyll. In the nicest way possible, I do not enjoy haskell at the moment. I can see the interest in it and the utility, but I will always choose C/C++ or Java if I have the choice. Although, to clear up any ambiguity, it’s an importance level based on what people might find useful, I doubt anything I say will actually be “important”.

-Scrollspy + Sidebar

These are both just incredibly nice additions for a navigational experience. I don’t want people to read the site without one, mainly because I can imagine myself posting some long work here.

-Easy To Maintain

I hate webdev. I love the products, I loathe the process. The tools are generally horrible, it’s fraught with security concerns, and it’s mostly incredibly high level. I just wanted something that I could write on in a streamlined fashion and upload quickly. This is a big part of the reason I dropped Hakyll after messing with it for 30 minutes, intending to start with Gwern’s site as a base. It was too much for a project that I wanted to have off the ground quickly.

Tools Used


A static site generator using Go. It works like a dream, I have to admit, and I generally prefer things which are lower level. As high level as this is, I feel very comfortable using it. Eventually I might move onto Hakyll or some other generator, but for now this is absolutely perfect.

-AmazingRise’s Diary Template

A gorgeous template made by Rise, which I will be tweaking from time to time to make it more “my own”. It’s an excellent base and I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to start their own site quickly. It’s got the features I needed, and as a plus it has Chinese language support. In the future I hope to learn mandarin, so it’s great to have the option.


All of the articles are going to be written in my emacs distribution. It’s quite fleshed out now, and I’ve got a lot of personal tweaks implemented. I have nothing more to say. I love emacs. Obviously I hop between emacs and vim depending on the task, but neocities doesn’t demand much CLI work.


Void Linux with a dwm desktop suite. Void is pretty nice, it has quite an unorthodox package manager, but it does what I need and I already have a script to deploy an install very quickly. The dwm suite is great, but I don’t know if I would choose it if I had the choice to go back and choose a wm, terminal, etc. again. The only reason is that compared to other options it’s a bit more of a pain in the ass to set up to begin with, all the patches and so on. But now that I’ve got it to a place I like, I just don’t touch it. There’s no point hopping around and tweaking things which work and work excellently.

Possible Issues/Cons

Just to cover the slim case you’re thinking of copying any of this, I thought it’d be worth pointing out a few things which may be of concern. It’ll also serve as a way for me to monitor problems which I might make the effort to fix.

  • It’s apparently a bit of a pain to embed some HTML for images in a nice fashion within this template because of deficiencies in Hugo’s system. Not something I know a lot about, not something I want to tackle either. Let’s just hope I don’t get too annoyed at left justified images.
  • This could cause porting to be a concern if I choose to use another static site generator in the future, hopefully if it comes to that pandoc can do some markdown magic to fix things.
  • At the moment I can’t figure out what’s going on with my config for dark mode, I don’t want a light mode option at all. I’m just not a fan.
  • Human error and laziness, of which I am a veritable wellspring.

P.S. I’ll probably tweak this page a lot as I make changes.

Last modified on 2022-05-10