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A New Look for a New Year

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Welcome to the new look for the Garage Lab site - after 2 years I thought it was time to update. The new layout is a lot friendlier to mobile devices and less cluttered than the old version.

I have set up redirects so the original links should all still work, some of the old posts may look a little messy due to differences in how the old blog engine and the new handles Markdown formatting - I will go through and clean them up over time.

When I first set up this blog in 2012 I started with the Nikola blog engine. Nikola is a static site generator - raw content and templates are combined locally and the final static pages are pushed up to the web server which is great for small servers and has a lot of security benefits as well.

Unfortunately the amount of content on the site has increased to the point where site generation was taking an uncomfortably long time and it was difficult, if not impossible, to make changes from mobile devices easily. I could edit the posts easily enough but regenerating and uploading the site required access to my desktop - not exactly conducive to frequent updates.

I've made a lot of modifications to the base Nikola code over the years (it's written in Python and pretty easy to customise) and strayed from the original code base by too much to merge changes from upstream without a lot of effort - rather than go through that I decided to change blog engines altogether.

The new site is running on Ghost and using the Phantom theme. I trialed Ghost for a few weeks as my lab notebook before migrating the main site, I'm pretty impressed with the performance and ease of use. It certainly works well as a personal journal system (I'm running a copy on a Raspberry Pi at home for that purpose) and I have high hopes for it as the main web site.

Anyway, any major change has it's problems - if you notice anything odd about the site behaviour or performance please let know.