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A Change Of Styles

Yes the title is almost quoting Dream Theater’s “A Change of Seasons” album and song; this is intentional; I like Dream Theater.

Yesterday I was supposed to take a day off but since I’m probably having some problems with the idea of not doing anything for a day (or more likely, when I try not to do anything, by myself, I start to feel lonely and it gets worse than working), I’ve decided to make some more drastic changes in style (which I was, slowly, making before).

The first change in style, which you probably can see if you read Planet Gentoo from the site (I have to speak with Steve about the feed), is the change in Avatar; as I said to Donnie, this is one step in my plan for not looking like a dork every day and every time. Contrary to most of the photos of me you might have seen before, this one is taken quite recently (this month) and it’s a post-surgery one, which means it gets to portray me without the 30Kg I had before.

To a side note, I have to find the time to go look for a new hat; I only have one right now, which is a black fedora-style wool hat; quite nice to me, although I know most of my friends find it too “old” for me. Using a back wool hat outside of winter is a bit of a stupid thing to do, I’ll have to look for something more summery, I guess I might take inspiration from Adam Savage and look for a cream-coloured fedora.

Other more subtle changes that have been happening to my site and blog is that they now are almost entirely ad-free; previously you would find Google Adsense’s banners on both the blog and the site (if you didn’t use AdBlock, that is), now they are gone for good. At the same time I removed the PayPal donation links, again in both site and blog, and rewritten the donation page so that PayPal donation is no longer an option. You might ask why, and the answer is actually quite pragmatic: I can’t do that any longer. Since I’ve officially declared myself self-employed with the Italian tax agencies, to be able to invoice my customers, I have to have totally clean incomings and the additional encumbering of declaring what I’d be receiving in donations and ad profits is not worth it.

I also noticed a quite annoying overlap of content between the site and the blog; given I look at the site once in a blue moon and I use the blog most of the rest of time, I’m considering simply merging the two of them; the only problem I have for that is that, as I’ve written before, I don’t like dynamically static content since it’s a waste of cycles for so many people. The main problem I see here is that if I were to use Typo’s static pages function to serve the content of the site, included the projects’ page , I’d be losing the ability to look back at the changes (I use git now), and also the ability to change the style of the projects’ sections at once like I’m currently doing with XSLT.

If I had the time, I’d be extending the static pages support of Typo to fetch the data for the pages from an on-disk archive of markdown/textile files, which I could then produce through XSLT, but I guess that’s going to take me more time than I have and for not great advantages. Since that’s not likely to happen soon enough, I just made the site and the blog use the same theme, even if that means that adding content to either requires me to manually fix it in both, and then moved the two static pages (excluded the comment policy) to the site, changing the links and using mod_rewrite to avoid breaking possibly older links.

I also moved a few things around, like the page of the KDE apps that is no longer present, merged back into the oldstuff page; I’m planning on merging back the files that currently are hosted on the blog’s vhost (and not managed in any way) into the website (with the git repository to handle them), but that would require a huge search and replace in the database for the URLs, and I’m not sure if I want to do that just yet. There are other problems as well, included broken links, which I should try to find a way to deal with. Hopefully one way or another the two hosts will blend well enough together that you cannot tell where one stops and the other starts.

I could also consider the idea of moving my git repositories somewhere else, but I’m not entirely sure about that. Having them where they are now I have total control of them, moving them might not be as easy as you might think, especially if I count that probably most of the outbound data from the vserver is due to git, and I don’t know a way to redirect requests from git-daemon to another URL.

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