Rebuilding Eagle, my website's CMS

My website is growing, not in terms of views, because I’m not aware of that. Maybe I should add some non-intrusive analytics. Anyways, it’s growing in terms of functionality. However, since I’m using a static website generator, it makes it complicated to add some interactive functionalities. One of those features is ActivityPub. ActivityPub is, in the words of the spec: The ActivityPub protocol is a decentralized social networking protocol based upon the ActivityStreams 2.0 data format. It provides a client to server API for creating, updating and deleting content, as well as a federated server to server API for delivering notifications and content. I have tried to build complete support for ActivityPub in the website before, but it didn’t succeed and I ended up just removing it instead of fixing it. In the meanwhile, I thought about creating a Pleroma instance, but what’s the point? I already have a section for micro posts.

I started using Hugo back in 2015. It’s so weird to think that I’ve been using this piece of software for 5 years already and it has evolved so much in the meanwhile. At the time, I started using v0.16. We’re now at v0.75.1!

Just created a subdomain with my notes, or wiki, or digital garden. Whatever you want to call it. It’s mostly for personal reference if I need it, but you can take a look too 😉

Henrique Dias 20 Jul 2020 09:25

Taking notes is a process… that’s true. Yesterday I found a post on HackerNews talking about how tired people are of new notes apps. I agree: there’s so many different note-taking apps that it becomes unbearable to find whatever fits you. I have a giang repository of markdown files with images and a …

So… replying to myself. Probably what I’m going to do is quite similar to what I had before: statically generate the notes from source markdown (or something else). I first need to decide the best language. Markdown is simples, yes, but sometimes I feel I need to add HTML to make it look exactly how I want it to. For example, I can’t just do this in markdown without using HTML. Some other markup languages allow for much more customization, such as Asciidoc.

Let me review the features I wrote yesterday to know if I can accomplish what I want this way. First, the must-haves:

Self hosted and open source Notes stored in plain text files Backlinking feature Supports LaTeX math Supports Mermaid diagrams

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes even if I have to create some script to adapt it to whatever static website generator I’m using. Unfortunately Hugo does not easily allow me to process backlinks on its own. I may try a different, more flexible, static generator for this. It’s an experiment and that way I’ll learn more. Maybe Gatsby or even Eleventy.

Clean layout and possible to easily edit on mobile

Yes and kinda. Need to find a good app. There’s some such as iA Writer that I know work very well. But I need to find a way to make it easily work with a Git repository.

Web editor (maybe WYSIWYG)

GitHub editor works. Not WYSIWYG though.

Simple and humanly readable markup language (markdown or other)



Can be implemented, although a bit harder.

Now let’s finally review the good to have features.

Full-text search

Can be implemented too.

Mind map visualization


Public/private stuff

Possible, harder, but possible.

I’ve been in spring cleanup mode since yesterday and I started on GitHub and ended up archiving and deprecating dozens of repos that were either unmaintained or actually supposed to be deprecated.

On this website, I just removed the ActivityPub support of my website because of two reasons: it had bugs and wasn’t working properly (I think) and there were only two or three people following me, being 2 of them bots. The other one also follows me through RSS so I hope I don’t affect them very much.

Today and tomorrow I’ll also proceed to make some internal upgrades and decouple the webmentions from the static generation process of this website, inspired by Jan-Luka’s post. I need to upgrade to Caddy 2 as well as some other changes I might share later.

Jan-Lukas Else 30 Jun 2020 20:48

For those who haven’t noticed, I’m blogging more regularly in German again 🇩🇪, the last days even more often in German than in English. And this although there will be much less people reading these articles. Somehow it is much easier for me to write texts in my mother tongue. The words flow much …

That’s really interesting. Even though my mother tongue is clearly not English, sometimes I find it much easier to express some thoughts in English rather in Portuguese. I feel the best for me would be to write in both at the same time but that’s obviously not good for readers 😂

Jan-Lukas Else 01 Jun 2020 18:11

That’ll be hard to do with Hugo. There’s no way to tell it to use absolute URLs in the feeds only. I’ll need to set up an extra step of some kind. I’ll check it out.I use a partial in my Hugo theme to replace relative links with absolute links in the content in XML (RSS) and JSON (JSON Feed, …

Wow! Thanks Jan. I’m still trying to understand why replacing links that start with / work because my feed was printing relative URLs with ... It seems to work though. I’m happy 🤯

There are some srcsets from some older articles that have relative URLs but let’s hope no one will take a look at those old posts. Maybe I’ll try to figure out a way to parse those attributes. Would be a bit more complicated though.

Jan Boddez 01 Jun 2020 13:20

In reply to Love the animated GIFs! The background! One thing: my feed reader has a hard time handling the relative image URLs in your RSS … (Hint: [I only know about this link because I …

Love the animated GIFs! The background!

Thanks 😁

One thing: my feed reader has a hard time handling the relative image URLs in your RSS…

Thanks for letting me know that. I didn’t know that was an issue. May I ask which RSS reader you’re using? That’ll be hard to do with Hugo. There’s no way to tell it to use absolute URLs in the feeds only. I’ll need to set up an extra step of some kind. I’ll check it out.

(Also, I couldn’t help but notice that RSS items lack the “context” that makes replies and such so much more understandable. Not a huge issue, just thought I’d let you know.)

Interesting, I noticed today my ActivityPub feeds had that problem and I already fixed them to include the “reply” part. I’m not aware if the RSS can have that kind of context. Can they? Also, just checked and the JSON feeds don’t support that kind of things. However, my page’s all use microformats and I just checked and they’re correctly parsed.

Back to the web of the 90s

@media screen and (min-width: 38rem) { body { background: #010d2a url(sea.jpg); background-size: 300px; background-attachment: fixed; } } Over the past months, I have been reading more and more posts where people are saying they miss the vibe of the 90s web. Even though I wasn’t alive to see how that web was, I still remember the website of my high school filled with overly saturated colors, GIFs and iframes. Not only that characterizes some of the pages of the early web, but also the pixelation and the footers saying to use X or Y browser. We know those kinds of websites are a mirage nowadays, but some of them are still accessible via the Internet Archive. There is one really interesting service called Neocities, which I talked about in the past, that aims to bring the glory of the Geocities to today’s web.