Welcome to the new blog! Looks familiar, right? So... a month or so ago I decided it was time to start reconsidering a rewrite. Still with Eleventy of course, but I really wanted to reorganize my site and possibly clean up stuff I no longer used. My site repo (https://github.com/cfjedimaster/raymondcamden2020) has been around since 2020 so it wasn't too old, but when I built it, I was new to Eleventy and as time went on, I patched and modified so much I'm surprised it actually ran. Add to that some six thousand or so Markdown files, I felt it was time for a change.

I decided to switch to a new repository - https://github.com/cfjedimaster/raymondcamden2023. I know the "best" thing to do would have been to use a branch on my existing repository, but I didn't want to fiddle with branches and I really wanted to have a "blank slate". I won't be deleting the old repo, but from now on I'll be using the 2023 one.

My goals were:

  • Rebuild the basic architecture.
  • Remove stuff I don't really need anymore.
  • Switch to a new theme.

Let's see how well that worked.

New Architecture #

I had two main goals in mind here. First, to move most of my Eleventy site itself under a new src folder, and secondly to put into place some of the great ideas Lene Saile documented in her excellent blog post, Organizing the Eleventy config file. My Eleventy config file had gotten pretty gnarly. It was over 300 lines, not really organized, and just a mess.

My new config file is a third of the size, right under 100 lines. More importantly, my collections, filters, and shortcodes are all abstracted out. I feel like I could do some more trimming in the filter area, I mean check out this list:

const { ageInDays, algExcerpt, catTagList, fixcattag, 
getByCategory, myEscape, my_xml_escape, titlecase, toTitle, 
postCategories, postTags } = require('./config/filters/index.js');

But the important thing is that now it would be a heck of a lot easier to do so.

I also went ahead and split up my _includes folder such that the layout files exist in _layouts. Not a big deal, but again, helps organize things. I even found a layout I could get rid of.

Remove Stuff #

When I looked at the root of my site, I saw pages that I had not touched in ages. Demos for stuff I built and never returned to. And so forth. I just got rid of em. I figure if they were tied to a blog post, I know I shared a link to the repo, and as it still exists, folks can still get the code.

I also started using a misc folder under my source for "junk" that's mostly for me. Like my stats page for example. I just added a permalink to them to route them to the old URL so I can get to them via muscle memory.

New Theme #

Well... I tried. I was considering moving to a theme that would be super minimal. I first tried writing my own. I wasn't happy with it. I then found a great, simplistic theme, but the code behind it was hella complex with loads of dependencies. I loved how it looked, I just wasn't happy with the code behind it. (To be clear, it wasn't bad code, it just had a lot going on.)

I did make a few small changes. I added header anchor links via Rhian's excellent post here: Adding heading anchor links to an Eleventy site.

I changed my avatar (look up in the left corner to see just how freaking old I am). And I probably did a few other small things I forgot as well.

I also removed Vue from two places. In one, I simply switched to vanilla JavaScript. In another, I switched to Alpine. Right now I still have Vue on my stats page, but I'll be switching that to Alpine as well.

Either way, in the future when and if I decide to tweak my theme, in theory it will be easier next time.

As always, let me know what you think, check out the repo, and let me know if you find any bugs.