• Fun with themes

    For kicks I wanted to build a dark mode for my blog, which led me down the garden path of CSS custom properties and easter eggs... #hacking (https://b-ark.ca/AqSYq8)

    One of the many things that attracted me to tech, back in the day, was the total DIY freedom of hacking computers to do whatever I wanted. And when you’re a kid, it’s even more fun because you aren’t looking at your pet projects through the lens of “value” or “product market fit” or “differentiators”. You just… do stuff, simply because it’s fun!

    Or, put more simply: You play. And as adults, we have play beaten out of us. And that is just a darn shame.

    Well, one of the fun things about running your own blog on your own server with software you control is that it’s a wonderful place to play! Heck, the re-design of this blog started off as just me screwing around for the fun of it.

    So, while on vacation, I thought it would be fun to build a dark mode theme for my blog using the technique outlined in this post (which it turns out is one of many).

    If you want to see the results… well, first off, if your OS is set to use a dark mode theme, you might already be seeing it! Otherwise, the little lightbulb icon in the navbar toggles the themes.

    In addition, if you poke around in my site, you might find an easter egg that enables a couple of additional retro themes designed to honour the computers of the past that inspired me and lead me to where I am today!

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  • Reinventing my blog

    Most of what you see from me starts on my blog. Tweets, photos, or articles, I post them on my blog and syndicate. Part 1 on why and how! #indieweb (https://b-ark.ca/i_Ugm_)

    The idea

    If you’ve been paying attention to my writing lately, you’ll notice a theme. Toward the end of November I got it into my head to rebuild my blog for reasons that, in hindsight, I don’t actually remember.

    At the time my main goal was to change the technology over from an old blog engine to something a bit more modern. But as I thought more about what I wanted for my blog, and read more about the IndieWeb movement, I realized my idea of what a blog could be was incredibly limited.

    To their great credit, modern walled garden web services have given us with a lot of ways to express ourselves:

    • Short notes (tweets, status updates)
    • Long-form content (blog posts, articles)
    • Photos
    • Reactions (likes)
    • Shares (bookmarks, retweets)

    Not to mention more specialized status updates like what we’re reading, what we’re listening to, etc.

    Each of these represents a piece of content we’re creating and publishing. We may not think of it that way because firing off a tweet or writing a quick status update is so easy. But they’re all just alternative formats for self-expression.

    Unfortunately, as I’ve noted previously, because these are each their own walled garden, this content is split up and spread out across many services. At best this is annoying! At worst, it’s a great way to ensure that the things we write or post could get lost someday when those services inevitably die.

    And then, as I read more about the IndieWeb, I realized I’d been thinking about my blog all wrong.

    Yeah, sure, traditionally blogs were the home primarily for long-form content. But it’s my blog. It can be whatever I want it to be. So, why not turn my blog into the place where I post all of the things! And then, after authoring on my own site, automatically syndicate to those social networks!

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