Partiality *

Controversial? Perhaps; Opinionated? Certainly.

Saga of the Blog

Dreamt about writing the software and assembling the system behind a blog. Shows how even private projects change spectacularly with changing requirements.
Owning a blog at a blogging platform or rolling out Wordpress or something alike is easy. They have their pros and cons but there are, indeed, some very mature systems with a lot of bells and whistles available. But **none** can boast of the pain and joy creating your own software brings with it. I wanted to eat my own dog food – after all, I am a software engineer. The creativity, the decision making, the struggles to implement the vision at the micro and macro level, and other nitty-gritties spice up the adventure. Yes, I looked for adventure and boy did I find it. In the beginning it started off as a bad ass, all inclusive, blog. Today it is a much simpler and possibly a sweeter place.
### Why bother? {#bother}

Twitter is too terse; most journals have more ads then real content; a private diary isn't social enough. The blog serves as an extension of me and a very public one at that. 

A good blog is about content, content and content. A great or unique writing style makes the difference when good content is not a problem. Writing well is tough but very fulfilling and hopefully it'll make a better writer out of me.

### A Unicorn {#unicorn}

We need wonderful nested-tree like comments and replies, likes and dislikes, the top-nav should be cool, ah! yes, show the tag soup on the right and let's also add this and that on-top. Did I mention the Map and twitter and other social links and embeddings?

Stop. Do we really need all of that? Aren't these things just distractions?

Sometimes you need to find someone else echo the same sentiments to realise that yes there is nothing wrong in what you believe is correct. I can't find that blog post (if you find it please do let me know and I'll add a link here) where the author moved away from bells and whistles blog to a simple, neat, comment free blog. I did find the following [Simplicity](http://mattgemmell.com/simplicity/) and [Comments Off](http://mattgemmell.com/comments-off/). Perhaps my memories are playing a trick on me and those were indeed part of the inspirations. 

### Genuine delight {#delight}

A blog is all about content and that is what a blog-entry should concentrate on. It should be easy to find related content and to navigate around. The system itself should be non-intrusive and intuitive. A reader shouldn't realize that such a thing exists.

As we move to other handhelds a blog should be fast to fetch and display -- under _1 second_. That is a  constraint that really makes a lot of decisions for you. Can we add a [twitter follow button](https://dev.twitter.com/docs/follow-button#add-the-follow-button-to-your-website)? No.

A blog should also encourage discussions. Ideally a comments feature of some sort is needed to encourage feedback, corrections and discussions. Comments also bring a lot of headaches -- moderation, spam, trolling etc. That is why it is better to leave it to others like reddit, hacker news, twitter, groups etc. Can we have Disqus? No.

Creating blog posts should be a delight too. Is it? You bet. Can you have it? Maybe.

And oh yes it pays to be SEO friendly too.

### Design Goals {#design-goals}

The following design goals have shaped the look and feel and the system behind the blog.  

1. Under 1 Second - Accessing the blog articles should take under a second to make them very mobile friendly. 

2. Text - The presentation of content should have that 'texty' feel to it. As if someone is reading a piece on a notepad or text editor - neat and tidy.  

3. Search - Search is one of the easiest ways of accessing relevant content. Hence, we make sure that the search just works. 

4. SEO Friendliness - This site doesn't hide content behind JavaScript and other dynamic elements. This blog exposes microdata. 

5. Different Devices - Responsive web design ensures that layout adapts to the device being used.

6. Prominent date - Quite often it is very difficult to ascertain the date some content being read was created or updated on. Am I reading something that is a recent commentary on something or is it rather old?  

### What's in a name? {#whatsinaname}

It isn't easy to find a good name after so many years of so many blogs. _Blogitty_ (dibbitty?) and _HA Blog_ (Highly Available Blog) were not very imaginative. _Takeit Easyyy_ almost won -- yes, yes I know that look on your face. In the end it was _Partiality_.  What is this _Partiality_ anyway? [Here you find a possible answer](/blog/Partiality__What_and_Why_172d1a1f-2da6-4512-a595-b64cbd0fae6f).

### Thanks {#thanks}

I'd like to thank Jose Salguero (@j_a_salguero) for collaborating with me. Once upon a time we wanted to use _Ember.js_ for a very dynamic blog and authoring.

I'd also like to call out some other names: George Leontiev, André Fehrmann, Ghulam Mujtaba, Francisco Paulo etc. for helping in reviewing the design, content and other aspects. 

Thank you.