This post marks the third redesign of A Working Library and a complete refactor. When I last designed it, responsive web design was still new and my own skills with it relatively anemic. Happily, that is no longer the case, and I’m proud to say that the library will now squish and expand with the best of them.
Under the hood, I’ve jettisoned Expression Engine in favor of Jekyll. That decision was based in part out of a concern for preservation and not wanting to be locked in to a particular platform. Additionally, I’ve become enamored of working in plain text, rather than fiddling with fields. Now instead of a database I have a folder full of Markdown files, and I can fire up any old text editor to work on them. I can’t recommend Jekyll for everyone—it requires a comfort level with GitHub and the command line that I wouldn’t impose on many writers—but it made perfect sense for me. I am especially thankful to Ethan Marcotte, David Yee, Nevan Scott, and Rob Brackett for their patient assistance in helping me get everything working.
In the process of refactoring, I had reason to skim through all my old posts. I considered making some edits there—excising posts I no longer agreed with, or which I felt didn’t reflect my current sense of self. Or tweaking some particularly bad word choices (my god, there are so many). But after giving it some thought, I decided against it: deleting old posts would be self-serving, putting my own vanity ahead of the needs of the network. So I’m letting everything stand.
But be warned, reader: if you venture back, you will find naiveté and unchecked privilege, overwrought sentences and half-assed thoughts. You will find wrong turns and dead ends. I will make no apology for them, if for no other reason than I am certain to be standing here again, some years from now, feeling the same way about words I’ve yet to write. Nor will I make any committment to constancy: it is my right, as it is yours, to change my mind, to argue with my past and future selves, and I intend to do so with gusto. Stay tuned.