Trivium

September 2008

20sep2008

Welcome to Trivium, my new blog that aims to merge the best parts of a tumblelog and a “classic” blog full of editorial, essayish content (which is not that classic at all, but this will be the topic of a later post).

The topics discussed here will be various, and there are several influences I cannot hide: among them undeniably the way of posting commented links and papers like John Baez, This weeks finds in mathematical physics, the slashed lists of Things Magazine and Matt Webb’s recent, titleless Interconnected. kottke.org and daringfireball.net shall be mentioned as well.

Some notes on the making of: The general design took—as usual—embarrassingly long, on and off I’ve been working onthinking about this thing since late 2007 and even already had a full, text-heavy and scholary design ready about two months ago, back(?) when minimalism was hype.

Now, I’ve essentially scrapped that, replaced the look in little more than a week, and this time decided to go for a dense, simple, but not ultraminimalist (there are different font sizes, for example, and there is a header graphic) design with advanced and possibly rare typographical features: I heavily use inline-styling even for elements which are usually rendered as blocks, body text is tightly set at a constant line-width, the page stays in rhythm.

Posts don’t have titles, instead they are identified by date, rendered in a custom format that I prefer for international readability and clarity: another step back to the real roots of blogging. Inline titles can be used to seperate longer parts of an essay and provide more structure.

The blog software has been completely written from scratch and punctuates the minimalism: It is less than 200 lines of Ruby and merely depends on three small and proven libraries (BlueCloth, RubyPants and a templating engine written by me), as well as good old text munging—it will be released in near future as it may be useful for others. [18nov2008: There it is.]

Staying with proven technology, the site is fully statically rendered while only changed pages are recreated on each update. Nice URLs are provided by cleanurl.lua and lighttpd—but, if I didn’t tell you, no-one would notice the site essentially runs on technology existant back in the nineties.

To help writing about mathematics (which I hope to do more in the future, now that I’m studying maths), I made it trivial (hah) to write formulas, both i^n\cdot{}l_i\cdot{}n^e and

\hat{a}\breve{s}\over{}b\tilde{l}o\sqrt[c]{ks}.
\eqno{(1)}

This is made possible by preprocessing BlueCloth with a troff(1) like language. The formulæ are rendered using mathtex on the server side for highest quality.

The site is built on standards using a backward-compatible, sensible subset of HTML 5, and modern, but semantically unobtrusive CSS (try it with lynx, w3m or links). It should look fine in every modern browser. Navigation is possible due to rel= links. For subscription, an Atom 1.0 feed is provided. The HTML implements hAtom, but nothing supports hAtom.

There are no comments, and there wont be—this has been discussed everywhere. You are free and welcome to contribute by mail or with your own means of publishing—send a tweet if you want to show me.

Also, there won’t be guaranteed updates every day anymore (solely due to my lack of time), but I’ll try hard to update the site several times a week and share with you some things you’ll hopefully find interesting.

Have a good time.

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