Blog Facelift Underway

2019-12-21

In the next few weeks (months? years?) I’m going to overhaul this blog.

First, I’m going to change the Hugo1 theme from Ananke to XMin, and then customize the hell out of it. You can see an evolving preview of this project at http://dev.frank-mitchell.com. (As of Dec 21, 2019, it really doesn’t look like much.) The “dev” version’s content may lag behind the main site’s a bit, since I’ll only update “dev” for style changes but the main site will update when I add new blog posts … or any other content.

My other plan is to introduce new sections at the top for role-playing game rules and commentary, personal software projects, fiction, and other things that one would search by topic, not date. (The new XMin theme I hope will make those changes easier, but the current theme allows me to add other top-level links to the home page.) Some will be ported from a previous incarnation of this site, others will be previously unpublished. The original vision for this site was a repository for RPG ideas, software, and fiction, but issues with hugo and other distractions kept me from merging in the old site’s contents. (They’re still available here, in all their 1990’s minimally styled ugliness.

The current blog posts will stay the same, save for minor formatting tweaks. I’ll keep the blog around for current-ish thoughts and half-baked ideas; fully baked ideas will live in these new sections. I might also add a “changelog” section that tracks new and changed pages in these sections, rather than insert them into the regular blog. Or I might not, depending on the effort involved.

It’s also remotely possible I could enable some sort of comment section. Most Hugo templates support Discus. The main reasons why I haven’t so far, and probably won’t:

  1. I’d have to keep a Discus account. Do they charge for maintaining that account? For comments in excess of some number per unit time?

  2. The docs mention other options, but what do those entail?

  3. If I did have a comment section, would anyone comment? Besides spammers, I mean?

  4. Conversely, if I did have a critical mass of commenters, I’d then have to curate the comments. How much of my time and (low) energy would that take?

Direct feedback sounds nice … if you’ve never seen YouTube.

Comments on XMin

If the new theme doesn’t look all that great, don’t worry, it will change. That said, some features out of the box are an improvement:

Features I’d like to reproduce from Ananke:


  1. Despite a previous post, I’ll stick with Hugo for now. A git pull request fixed the errors in Ananke, so I could upgrade to Hugo v0.61 and its new Markdown engine. (But Ananke still has to go.) ↩︎