brycewray.com

OTOH

Retracting my retractions

One shouldn’t make decisions out of spite. I’m living proof.

published:  October 11, 2019
last modified:  November 9, 2019

So, see, this crazy person took control of my site a few days ago and wrote a post that sounded just like something I’d write, and then he deleted several old posts just to prove a point. Or something like that.

Naaaaah, you’re not buying that, are you? Good for you.

Okay, then, let’s try the truth.

You can’t delete the past

When I wrote and posted “It’s about the food, not the decor,” I was in a sour mood over my various twists and turns in recent months—played out in embarrassing detail on this site—about which static site generator (SSG) I’d use for this site. So, while stuck in traffic on the way home and fuming inwardly, I thought, “Screw this. Just wipe all the posts off there, swear never to write any more like those, and you’re done.”

As the old wisdom goes, it’s not a good idea to make a decision out of spite.

Fortunately, I (sometimes) have more lucid thoughts. I’m hoping I’ll look back on this writing session as an example thereof.

The simple truth is that I screwed up.

I took down the following posts about my SSG dance, redirecting them to ”It’s about the food, not the decor”:

. . . thinking that would somehow absolve me of my apparent (?) and ridiculous skittishness.

Nope. All that did was put me in the company of 1984’s Big Brother, and real-life dictators, in destroying whatever material didn’t fit the narrative of omniscience.

It wasn’t my intention, mind you, but that’s how it came out.

But you can’t delete the past. Moreover, you shouldn’t try.

(I’m talking to myself, understand. Sorry you have to listen while I do so.)

Anyway, when I realized this, I knew the only proper thing to do was to restore those posts. So I did.

I even brought back a non-SSG-related post, “Why I left Ulysses,” that I deleted months ago after discovering I’d been wrong about the decision that post described. Different case, same reasoning.

Mea culpa.

One more re-retraction

Now that I’ve apologized and, I hope, recompensed for my errors, I also want to retract another retraction—well, sort of a retraction, in that it was retracting certain posts in advance.

In “It’s about the food, not the decor” and, to some extent, “Back with Hugo,” I said I was done being meta about how I put together this site with whichever SSG I choose to use at the time. A Flavio Copes post had convinced me of the wisdom of taking such a stand.

However, since then, I’ve read quite a few other folks’ posts about, guess what, how they do their sites with one SSG or another, their migration of those sites between SSGs, their choices and the occasional ruing thereof, and so on. And I’ve found them fascinating.

In the darkest sense, perhaps this meta on my part constitutes the train wreck from which one can’t avert one’s eyes.

In the most positive sense, I’d like to believe my search for better solutions—always the greener grass on that other side of the fence, as Copes would put it—can be as helpful to others as I’ve found the posts from other people.

For just one little example: believe it or not, I’m actually playing with Gatsby again.

Moreover, it’s going quite a bit more smoothly this time (he said, his rabbit’s foot firmly clenched).

That’s due in large part to the excellent advice and tutorials I’ve found from, yes, those other folks out there who’ve written about their sites and how, in some cases, they learned so much from their mistakes with particularly complicated SSGs like Gatsby.

Am I ready to switch? Oh, not yet. Baby steps. But I’m learning some good stuff and catching some goofy things I did the first few times. (My recent interest in Webpack, which is part of Gatsby as well as a powerful package of its own, didn’t hurt.) Whether what I’m learning will translate into articles that will help you—much less into my actually being able to migrate this site to Gatsby as I’d originally attempted months ago—well, that’s what we’ll find out in the weeks and months ahead.

See ya, CYA

In the final analysis, it comes down to how you’re best served: by my being transparent (albeit wordy), or by my covering my heinie.

I’m voting for transparency.

So, those few of you still with me: thank you, and hang in there. Let’s see whether I can bring you good stuff—meta or not—and, perhaps, make you smile a little in the process.

More to the point for this post, let’s see if I can avoid the temptation to cover my heinie again. It’s too big to cover, anyway.

Comments powered by Talkyard.