A few days ago, Prof. Shriram Krishnamurthi started writing on a website using his own Racket-based website generator, including a detailed About page. I particularly liked the section about why the site is not a blog, which includes some thoughts about how he wants the site to develop. That got me thinking that I should write down what I want from Colophon. I’ll try to update this post as and when the particular features are implemented (or discarded).
One of the big reasons I’m diving into the “write your website generator” rabbit-hole is that I can have posts with nice syntax-highlighted blocks of code without onerous copy-pasting between Spacemacs and WordPress (or some other blogging platform), and with the flexbility to add better styling or other features to the code in question. So for today, we’ll try to set up syntax highlighting for code blocks in Colophon.
I’ve been gradually fleshing out parts of the Colophon system. An immediate
issue that I’ve been running into is dependency management. For example, making
a change to a post needs to trigger the related indexes to rebuild. However,
Pollen as it stands doesn’t make this easy. In particular, it rebuilds pages
only when the corresponding source file has changed (the
is rebuilt when the
posts/index.html.pm file is changed.
After a long hiatus, I’m putting some work into Colophon again. When I left off
some months ago, I had a decently working static site generation setup,
including niceties like syntax highlighting and basic index generation. But a
large part of the functionality was in the
pollen.rkt file for this
website, not in the code for Colophon itself. My hope is that Colophon will be
usable for interesting websites in general, and that it will be possible to get
a usable starting site with a single command. So I spent a couple of hours
pulling out functionality from the website-specific code into Colophon proper.
Here are some thoughts on principles guiding the development of Colophon and the features they imply.