Kunal Marwaha: Evolving philosophy on website-building

## Frameworks
## Go minimal
## Curated website
## Always learning
## No true way

## Frameworks

I’ve tried many JS technologies, including React and friends, Angular, and JSX.

I find these frameworks useful (and worth the effort) for:

  1. Really good-looking, quickly-built sites
  2. Larger, more complicated projects with a significant web interface
  3. Tools for general public audience, many many users, many types of devices, and/or specialized users (e.g. some frameworks need no extra work to be accessible to 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 my latest work project (in Django), I’m using raw HTML templates and CSS styling from Bootstrap.

No additional JS frameworks or styling frameworks (Less, Sass, …) Bootstrap is simple, familiar to the team, and popular.

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## Curated website

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 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.)

I like many things about this site:

  1. I initially thought sans-serif fonts are easier to read, but this is under debate. I switched to serif fonts.
  2. I chose the colors carefully to be accessible, clear, and gentle.
  3. I found standard link styling (ocean blue and underlined) to be too aggressive for the site, so I muted the colors and adjusted the underlines to my liking.
  4. Sometimes I use slight indents and emojis to organize information clearly.
  5. I like new-page links, so you keep the original page open.

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## Always learning

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

I’m not confident about everything:

  1. I used an online app to make my favicon. The design was mine, but I’m not sure how it looks on all devices.
  2. It’s readable on my phone, but in general not optimized for mobile viewing.
  3. Emojis may not load on older browsers.

I think the development process for this website is rapid 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 Google Chrome.
  5. I git commit and git push, like in other projects, but 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 many great-looking and useful pages on the Internet.

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An interaction-free world is not Paradise.