Darren Spurgeon

Colophon (how this site was made)

Content management: Static

Currently, I'm not using any content management tools for this site. It's a bit too simple and it likely won't change very much. Let's not over-complicate, shall we?

Frontend layout and styling: Bulma

So, if you're here, you're probably a techie and already have your answers. At least, anyone this curious already hit View Source in your favorite browser. What, you didn't!? OK, I'll wait...

I actually considered a few choices--there are certainly many and I have my short list of favorites. Most recently, I've been using Vue.js with Vuetify to build front-ends. Those would've been familiar and excellent choices. Indeed, you can pretty much build any front-end application with those frameworks as a base (or even desktop apps for that matter using Electron).

Let's face it, though. This is a static portfolio site, not an application. I simply don't need all that overhead. That brings us to some tried-and-true frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Milligram, Pure, Semantic UI, UIKit, and Bulma , my ultimate choice. All are terrific frameworks, so you can build terrific things with any of these--I just made a personal choice.

Honorable mention: Material Components for Web. I simply love the material look--these days--and this was a strong contender. However, this framework is largely in transition from Material Design Lite. The class styles are also very verbose compared to some of the other frameworks.

Hosting: Firebase

Any self-respecting techie interested in this site would have looked up my host provider as the second order of business.

Why did I choose Firebase? Honestly, it's a great service for static hosting because it's basically a one-step deploy. I could have chosen to host on a static bucket (GCP or AWS), but those would be extra steps and would require a collection of services to manage. Not hard, but extra. Furthermore, I wanted HTTPS out of the box and Firebase provides that.

Codebase build tools: VS Code + Gulp

Visual Studio Code is a fantastic product. It's lightweight and loads pretty fast, even with extensions. Oh yes, extensions. It feels like the best hybrid of a full-fledged IDE (see Jetbrains wonderful IntelliJ, Microsoft's full Visual Studio, or Eclipse) and power text editors like Sublime, Atom, or Brackets.

Lastly, just because it's a static site doesn't mean you can't optimize your code. Each file is modularized so that I simply include common snippets like head elements, footers, and so forth. For that, I use Gulp to manage it.

You may be wondering why a colophon in the first place. Why give away your secrets?

First of all, it's no secret--just View Source. Secondly, it's not having the best pots and pans that makes a great chef, now is it? I've seen some great frameworks used in horrible ways, and also seen really fantastic applications constructed with older technologies. Though, I must say, if you're still writing in Perl, you're probably well below the limit of even mediocrity these days.

Nevertheless, I hope the above is useful, and if you have suggestions, I'm always looking for a better way, too. Cheers.