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Illuminations from the throne

Another new blog.

Where it all happens.

Just what we all need, another new blog. Ah, but this one is different. Just what we all need. Another different, new blog.

There are a few reasons why I decided to start this site. I figured I have a few stories to tell. A few things to say. I’m not going to boast about epic adventures or share any particular expertise. Typical, everyday experiences can be interesting enough if you look up from a screen long enough to notice what's going on.

There are some great blogs out there but they’re overwhelmingly outnumbered by the rubbish ones, don’t you think? Even if worth reading, they're often ruined by annoyingly placed ads that make the page jump up and down as they load and reload, irritating pop-ups that never seem to go away and videos that suddenly start playing in the corner. I make the promise right now; there will never be any advertising on this site and not so much as a cookie consent pop-up. Don’t worry, there are no cookies here either.

If all blogs had a simple, uncluttered design, were well written and devoid of distractions, the internet would be a far more pleasant place. My goal is to create something that curtails the percentage of garbage it's forced to host. Even if that's by an immeasurable miniscule amount.

I’m not a professional developer. Various jobs have required me to learn the basics and I’ve supplemented that knowledge with some personal projects. I’m a one-man band; that means I can choose whatever direction I want to go when I start something new but it also means there's no one to point out my bad decisions. I've probably made a ton of them without ever realising.

For example, in the past I’ve always started a new website from a blank text file using vanilla javascript, css and php; my philosophy being if you know those well enough, that’s all you need. But nowadays, I think most pros consider that approach to be inefficient and old fashioned. Instead, I should be using a so-called modern framework.

Angular, React, Node, Vue, the list of javascript libraries goes on. The question I’ve always asked myself is: if I know how to write perfectly functional javascript and php code, why do I need a framework?

The final reason for gracing the internet with my new and different blog is to answer that. It’s built using Gatsby, which, after a bit of research, seemed like a good choice for what I wanted to create. Gatsby utilises React, a frontend javascript library that’s growing in popularity and I wanted to see for myself what the advantages are.

I learnt a lot but at times I found it unnecessarily complex. I had to plough through documentation and install a whole bunch of dependencies to implement features I would otherwise easily have done with just a few lines of code. This amounted to literally tens of thousands of files. I can’t possibly need that many so obviously my little hobby project doesn't make full use of the benefits. I’m still not convinced frameworks are worth it for something on this scale. It’s early days though.

Hopefully I’ve made a decent start. The name of the site should give an indication that I don’t really expect my waffle to be of much interest to many people but you never know. I might have taken the first step towards becoming the planet's coolest new influencer.

My interests don’t stray far from the average Joe’s. I like music, movies, football, inline skating and photography so posts will probably lean towards those themes. But I also daydream a lot and I now have somewhere to record the random formation of thoughts that rattle around my head when I have nothing better to do than think about nothing in particular. It'll be fun to read back one day.

Let's continue.

Edit: 15/11/23
I've written a follow up to this article called The experiment fails.

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