There are changes afoot (and apologies in advance to any RSS readers).
I’ve migrated Polytechnic over to Wagtail.
Wagtail is a content management framework that I’ve really enjoyed using for the past year. Not only is it built on top of Django, meaning I can make use of the great tools and apps that are part of that ecosystem, it’s also built by the team at my old employer Torchbox, giving it an excellent pedigree
This site has been running on Perch Runway since 2014 (so says my repository), and it’s served me well in that time, but I've increasingly found myself bumping up against some limitations in the platform when it comes to my future plans.
One of the main drivers behind this redevelopment was wanting to take a bit more control of my digital footprint out there on other sites.
Looking back at the previous version of the site, when it was just a blog, there were lulls in posting, but I wasn't completely quiet. I was still on Twitter, posting photos on Flickr, cataloguing music on Last.fm, and bookmarking everything. I was generating a lot of "me" stuff, but it was all elsewhere.
The Indieweb movement has a concept called PESOS - Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate (to your) Own Site (the alternate is POSSE - Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere), which is what I wanted to do here, but how?
Going back to the Django ecosystem, step up Phil Gyford’s amazing Ditto package. As Phil describes it:
“A collection of Django apps for copying things from third-party sites and services.”
I came across Ditto in June 2021 (according to Pinboard) and immediately knew it was the missing piece of the puzzle.
A few months development later, and here we are. One revamped site on a brand new platform:
- 19 years of blog posts (641 to be precise)
- 6,674 Flickr photos
- 14,066 Pinboard bookmarks
- 37,052 Tweets
- and 118,404 Scrobbles from Last.fm
There’s still a lot to do, I need to theme the “elsewhere” section to apply my design to it, and I think I broke webmentions somewhere along the way.
…but it was time to stop tinkering on localhost and get this thing live.
I’m really excited about what the combination of Django and Wagtail will allow me to do here, on my own little corner of the web.
If your laptop and phone both got stolen – how easily could you conduct online life through the worst browser you have? If you have to file an insurance claim online – will you get sent a simple HTML form to fill in, or a DOCX which won’t render?
What vital information or services are forbidden to you due to being trapped in PDFs or horrendously complicated web sites?
Go sit in an uncomfortable chair, in an uncomfortable location, and stare at an uncomfortably small screen with an uncomfortably outdated web browser. How easy is it to use the websites you’ve created?
The unreasonable effectiveness of simple HTML - Terence Eden