The Trees The Fork Maple Day1 - Everydays

Reintro to Everydays

Project Page

A makeshift platform made out of boards and cordage is attached around one of the Maple's branches. There is a sketchy rope ladder hanging down from a branch higher up. Looking through the canopy you can make out that it connects to one of the Oak's branches a ways out and then higher up into the Hemlock.

Placed at the edge of the platform is a rough lectern with a sheet of paper. On that paper is a rough plan for how the Maple will be developed and molded over time. The basic idea is there but many details need to be filled in.

Here goes nothing.

I'm back on my writing again. There are a couple reasons I'm trying to write consistently. One is that I'm currently without a job (hit me up on twitter @Kethku if you're interested in hiring me). Another is that I'm feeling drained.

Politics are scary, my life is chaotic and unorganized, and it is becoming gradually harder to make progress on the things that used to bring me joy. The last time I felt this way I got a lot of value out of the every day blog posting. I hope that by using this as a forcing function I might be able to capture some of that excitement again. We will see.

The Blog - World Building

This time around I'm doing things a little differently. I have this idea of a site that you can visit and interact with. One where you can see other people visit as well. That combined with a new interest in TTRPGs has lead to the current incarnation of the site. I want my website to be something you can explore and I want to use it as a place to play around with more creative writing.

So the site has a new coat of paint. Right now everything is static, but eventually I would like to build a multi user dungeon on top of it that feels more live. Even without those dynamic features, I think its an interesting take I haven't seen before.

At the moment its pretty abstract but I think with each post I want to iterate on it and at least expand the places you can explore. I suspect there may be some daily posts about implementing the dynamic pieces, but we'll see where it takes me. As it stands today, the older posts can be found in The Oak so you can scrub through and read those if you like. New posts will show up in The Maple.

Build and Publish Github Action

This time around I've also done some work to automate the publishing process. When I first wrote my post, I didn't understand the ci build system in github that well. I also think it was pretty new. These days though its the way to go for publishing github sites. There are even off the shelf actions you can use to build and deploy zola sites without compiling them locally.

The previous setup used two repositories, one for the source code which contained all of the markdown content and scripts for building things, and the other which was the repo containing the built html pages. I previously used okeydokey to automate building of the content, copying it to the publish repo, and pushing it up in individual commits. This worked ok but meant abusing git for something it wasn't made for.

Now I have a simple publish.yml script which builds and pushes the new content to a gh-pages branch so I don't ever have to touch it. Its continuously deployed whenever I push anything to main. I write markdown, push it up, and a few minutes later the change is live ezpz.

# On every push this script is executed
on: push
name: Build and deploy GH Pages
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    if: github.ref == 'refs/heads/main'
      - name: checkout
        uses: actions/checkout@v3.0.0
      - name: build_and_deploy
        uses: shalzz/zola-deploy-action@v0.16.1-1
          # Target branch
          PAGES_BRANCH: gh-pages
          # Provide personal access token
          TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}

I will likely automate the creation of new post templates similar to what I had with the old site but for now this is easy enough. I'm pretty pleased with the setup and that the decision to use zola 4 years ago has held up.

The other big change aside from moving content around and updating names #trans-things was to change the links to be relative. I've update the url to from the old site to a new domain Doing so broke a ton of links which were hard coded to the old url. A quick look at the zola docs showed that you can get build time checked relative links by using [Link Text](@/relative/path/from/site/root) which is great as it looks up the published root url and swaps the relative path out for the final built url.

I believe I had avoided this approach in the past because it was a zola specific hack, but at this point I don't think zola is going anywhere and even if it did it wasn't that hard to fix the urls this time. So for now at least I'm going with this approach.

Next up for the blog I am hoping to update my current iteration of pando to produce todo trees like I had with the old blog.

Till tomorrow,