The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy for various reasons, usually on sundays, so I've gone a couple of weeks now without posting anything much recently. Despite that, I've made some major updates and changes to this site in particular, and have made use of having a week off work to get on with decluttering, both physically and virtually.

I've finally switched to the new version of, now using Laravel as a base framework rather than having WordPress as a full-fat CMS. It isn't perfect and there's a few rough edges to iron out, however it had gotten to the point of if I didn't switch, I'd probably still have the beta version under construction indefinitely.

At a quick glance, the site is visually more or less the same as before, with a few refinements and updates dotted around the site, the more obvious things like the "View Post" button now looks like a button, and the pagination now not being completely broken. I've also made various adjustments to improve site accessibility, and improved aspects such as greater usage of microformats throughout the site, a more complete h-card on my homepage, and improving how the site renders if CSS & JS rendering is disabled for whatever reason.

One of the added bonuses of switching to a significantly more custom site is that I'm far more motivated to make improvements and amendments to things, and adding new features to the site that would have previously involved either significant overhead, or bodging my way around the limitations of using an off-the-shelf CMS.

One thing I have stuck with however is to use a database driven site rather than one that's statically generated. This gives me a number of advantages, where I'm able to structure things dynamically and don't need to be concerned about time taken to rebuild the site etc.

What's next?

Now that the new version is launched, I'm concentrating on getting the final few rough edges ironed out, and re-implementing parts of my old site I want to retain, namely:

  • Fix micropub support
  • Fix Webmention support
  • re-add shortlink support
  • re-add ability to tag posts and photos
  • Automated POSSE (Post Own Site, Sync Elsewhere)
  • Places API integration for photo tagging
  • full support for RSVP, like, checkin and reply post types
  • Make the site repo public and easily forkable including documentation.


I've been making use of having a week off by taking the chance to sort through the various amounts of stuff I've accumulated and either donating, selling or recycling things where appropriate (anyone got a use for a DVI to VGA cable?). This is mainly to simplify my setup in general and to make life a bit easier simply by the fact there's less stuff I don't use.

Somewhat unhelpfully, my PC's motherboard decided to give up the ghost this week, which while I was intending on upgrading it at somepoint this year, I wasn't intending on doing it just yet. Instead of getting a drop-in replacement motherboard, I'm going to see how long I can go without a desktop PC which I admittedly rarely use these days, as I tend to do any gaming on my xbox, or via cloud streaming. On the occasions I need to access to Windows, it's usually for testing purposes which I can use a virtual machine for.

Elsewhere, I finally got to see Everything Everything at Rock City in Nottingham last week, which was incredible.