Introducing the Codelog

I will be documenting some of my thoughts and practices on the development of protesilaos.com.1 I decided thus for a number of reasons:

  • maintain a record of my work and any progress thereof;
  • have yet another reason to think and write;
  • share my experience with the public in the hope that it may prove useful;
  • open the opportunity to better coders than me to offer feedback on my errors.

This website is starting to look like a busy place. I am, first and foremost, a policy analyst who maintains a blog on European Union issues.2 I have written a short ebook on the EU, while I am preparing a major update to it, which may eventually take the form of a new book.3 This should be coming some time in late April or early May. In addition, I have launched a seminar series on the European Union, where I try to go in-depth on a range of topics from the basics to the more advanced.4

Yet this is not all I do on a daily basis: I also am actively developing this website in order to complement—or optimise the delivery of—my work. I am a self-taught Front End Developer, and while I do not purport to be an expert or anything of the sort, I do have a passion to learn more about those things. I proceed by trial and error.

This website used to be powered by a self-hosted WordPress platform. It now is developed as a Jekyll installation. Code-wise this is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Jekyll is rather straightforward. It does not hold your hand, letting you do exactly what you want with the web pages you create. That is a double-edged sword: you may do wonders or end up with all sorts of validation errors.

I was, at first, intimidated by all the new stuff I had to learn in order to develop with Jekyll and Git. Liquid ended up being a perfectly clear language; one that suits my level quite well. Using the command line to update the remote repository is easier than it seemed, while the development environment I have established allows me to maintain a local backup of my live site. As for writing in markdown and leveraging the YAML front matter, I must admit that I find it far preferable to wrestling with the options panel(s) of a CMS.

The purpose of this Codelog is to document [at least some of] the coding practices I apply to this website. It will be a side activity as my primary preoccupation is with everything related to the European Union.

  1. Subscribe to the Codelog feed if you are interested (or check the follow page). ^

  2. Blog on EU politics^

  3. A Handbook on the European Union. Published on November 8, 2015. ^

  4. Seminars on the European Union^