Kunal Marwaha: Evolving philosophy on website-building

# You don’t need a framework
# Go minimal
# Curate your site
# Keep learning
# No true way

# You don’t need a framework

I’ve used newer JavaScript technologies, including React and friends, Angular, and JSX.

I find these frameworks useful (and worth the effort) for really good-looking, quickly-built sites, larger projects with a significant web interface, and tools for general public audience (many many users, many types of devices, and/or specialized users).

I appreciate frameworks that need no extra work to be accessible by screen-readers for blind persons.

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# Go minimal

When I have the choice, I tend towards minimalism in both tooling and “look and feel”.

For a recent work project (in Django), I used raw HTML templates and CSS styling from Bootstrap. No additional JS frameworks or styling frameworks (like Less or Sass). Bootstrap is simple, familiar to the team, and popular.

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# Curate your site

You could call my personal website a “curated” website.

Everything you see is raw HTML and CSS. I tried to design carefully to make the site pleasing to me.

I notice that I can lose track of time re-styling my personal website, as one does redecorating a home.

I used to write pure HTML. Now I write in Markdown (quicker to get my thoughts out) and use pandoc to compile to HTML. Add .text to the URL to see the raw Markdown file. (More info about Markdown.)

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# Keep learning

These decisions are often inspired from blogs and websites I like. The dotted underline is inspired by a blog on online readability. The colors are from Derek Sivers.

This isn’t a perfect website.

  1. I used an online app to make my favicon. I’m not sure how it looks on all devices.
  2. It’s readable on my phone.
  3. Emojis may not load on older browsers.

I think updating this website is quick and fun.

  1. I have a git repository on a DigitalOcean server that hosts my website.
  2. I have a git clone of the repository on my laptop.
  3. I write in the .text files and loop the ./pandocify.sh script. (while :; do ./pandocify.sh; sleep 1; done)
  4. I look at my updates locally on Firefox.
  5. I git commit and git push, like in other projects. When I push, my website is updated!

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# No true way

I don’t think there is any “true way” to build a website. There are so many great-looking and useful pages on the Internet! Find your style.

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An interaction-free world is not Paradise.