[79FT]: Building Things

B-Log v2

...the long-needed updates


On: Sep 25, 2018
In: [Misc] B Log
Tags: tools, software, website

After using the setup I did for myself in 2014 for a while, I decided it was time to change things around a bit.

Segway

... so yeah. I needed to add a static page, and I had a bunch of ideas about extra stuff I wanted to do for a while. But mostly, I just needed to add a damn static page, and thinking about coercing the existing setup into doing that with all the pictures I needed there was not making me happy...

... it was also about time I set this thing up so that I could actually log more projects than just a single airplane. Hey, I bet we all know - websites of this kind are mostly created to be later enjoyed by their authors in periods of 'I ain't got nothing better to do than review my old notes' mood ...

Multiple Projects

First of all, I wanted to be able to log multiple projects. The way the old setup was done was it had basically one project, under the section called "Build", and then this dangling catch-all "blog" thing for everything else.

But as you can see, most of articles here actually are NOT about the airplane I was working on at the time - the Skybolt - but rather, other little things here and there.

First thing I did, is I changed the way the files are laid out, and added semantics converting source content's directory structure to "Project / Section" semantics.

Each project now has it's own "sub-log" (that's what time logged is tracked based on). There is still a catch-all "blog" section, and a "default" project that can be configured if one so desires.

Logging

One more thing I realised is that the original version would only allow to log time if it was associated with an article-type entry... Flooding the Internet with tens of pages of "built three more ribs tonight" type stuff just to log time seemed kinda silly, so I added support for plain text log entries.

Articles still can track time; but you can also now have a separate text file with just "Date", "Summary", and "Time Logged" entries - one per line.

When creating the "log" page for a project, entries, being both from articles and from logfiles, are sorted by date, and then ones with articles associated with them will pick their summaries up from articles. Entries coming from text files will be displayed with summaries from log files.

Major Code Cleanup

All this time tracking functionality, structuring articles into projects, and such, were becoming an entity of its own large enough for me to justify clumping it all into a single Pelican's plugin, now called "b_log". I also added a bunch of config options to set up it's behavior.

No Google Analytics

Yeah. I killed it. This site Does Not Track You now. Because there's too much of this crap online.

Fixes, Fixes, Fixes

Too many to count...

  • Fixed how logos and icons behave
  • Fixed templates in numerous places
  • Fixed bugs in image processing and copying
  • Images in pages now handled properly - they just weren't. At all
  • Decimals in logged times would sometimes show up to 10 digits past the decimal point
  • ...

Silliness

And finally, some silliness! I wrote another plugin that adds a "quote of the day" at the end of each article, randomly :) Enjoy; and I hope they will encourage you to read more articles (or at least, scroll thru them to get to the bits of wisdom).

And So, (v2)

I got happier now.

I have changed the B-Log notes to match the new setup, just so that there's one place I can send people to in case they are interested in my setup.

And I'm very close to posting that damn page, but...

...of course, I am restructuring the old content and modifying old pages instead to match what I got now, and writing stupid notes on what I did to the thing. Because, as we all know, making yourself a tool is as, if not more, pleasant, as using it...


A groundschool instructor understands piloting the way an astronomer understands the stars.


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