Relaunched my website!
I finally got the mood to do what was long overdue and recreate my website from the ground up.
People who visited ColinFinck.de within the past decade must have had the impression that I vanished without a trace. Whereas in reality, I had just been extremely busy with ReactOS, Rust, and my daily job at ENLYZE. There would have been enough to write about if I just had the platform.
This problem is no more!
Thanks to the amenities of modern web technologies, even a low-level systems programmer like me can now design a good-looking, lightweight, and accessible website.
Gone are the days where you developed your website against the standards and then spent the same amount of time getting it compatible with Internet Explorer 6. Likewise, nobody needs a PHP interpreter on the server anymore when all that you want is a simple blog platform.
To add some first content to my blog, I’ve collected various articles on ReactOS, Rust, and Windows development that I’ve written for other websites over the years. Together with some previously unreleased posts, they make up the base of my new website. Besides that, all my software projects can be found in the Software section. I could have just dumped all my past projects, which are no longer under active development. However, as they are still downloaded and referenced on the internet, I kept them here for anyone who may find them useful.
My new website is built around the excellent Hugo static site generator and runs on a simple VM.
I host all included resources myself and have full control from the software serving my pages down to the very last HTML tag. Thanks to pregenerated static HTML pages, I can go with a VM that is way cheaper than any cloud service. I can even save the very last CPU cycles by precompressing all static files and enabling Nginx’s
This may sound like a very peculiar setup today.
Is that still the way to go in the days of AWS, Netlify, and friends?
I can’t speak for you, but for me it definitely is the right way. Cloud providers come and go, and each of them likes to vendor-lock you into their sphere, even though the underlying technology remains basically the same.
By only using “boring” open-source technology, I can be sure that my setup will also work fine 10 years from now. Even if I have to switch to another VM by then, I can just take all my data with me.
I would even go a step further and argue that any cloud provider has a hard time matching the simplicity and reduced attack surface of my setup.
Furthermore, not depending on any third-party services allows me to maintain the privacy of my visitors, making compliance with EU’s GDPR law a no-brainer.
You won’t see a cookie banner here, because this website doesn’t need a single cookie.
The reward for my efforts are A+ grades at Mozilla Observatory, Qualys SSL Labs, and 100/100 points at Google PageSpeed Insights. Even Google.com only gets 75 here! :)
My time at ReactOS has highlighted the importance of accessibility to me. Apparently, Windows is one of the better platforms for accessibility tools, which makes ReactOS an obvious choice if you want to run them on an open-source operating system. While ReactOS is not yet technically there, I have learned a bit about designing websites with accessibility in mind and applied that here.
Even the mobile view of this website is entirely realized via CSS.
Together with a consequent usage of HTML’s structural (
<ul>, …) and semantic (
<article>, …) elements, this website should be perfectly navigable for any accessibility tool.
Please let me know if that isn’t the case though or if you have any ideas for improvements.
I have designed this website to the best of my abilities, but this is still my first dive into modern web technologies.