Rumours of my death have been slightly exaggerated

My illnesses have been a bit worse over summer and I dropped off the internet for a while. Now it's cooler I'm going to make more effort to stay online and keep up with communities and OSS projects and apps, maybe expand the food section of this site as planned last year.

Site changes:

  • Fixed minor nav issues on small screens
  • Fixed some outdated links in the notes
  • Fixed dates showing incorrectly sometimes
  • Fixed expired DNS records

Minimum Viable Page

I've copied enough content (and put in redirects for everything missing) to be satisfied with replacing the old site.

Things which are still here

News / .plan
I plan to make use of Nikola's post feature going forward, so you can look forward to more "blog" posts like this. I may or may not upload my old RMITCS or post-RMITCS .plan files.
Code, Software, Game Mods
Combined on Software page.
Forensics, Publications and other Uni stuff
My research articles are on my research site (which is going to get converted to Nikola ASAP as well). My pre-honours stuff which used to be under "portfolio" is now in the Misc section under Coursework Portfolio.
Notes and non-research articles
My scattered notes on development, Unix, FreeBSD, etc have been converted from XML to ReST and on the new Notes page. Many redirects have been arduously inserted to link the old URLs to better ones.
Completely standalone with no dependencies so it can be saved etc.

Things which are not here anymore

RMITCS Memory Lane
If you went to RMITCS in the awesome thin client X server era before 2009 then the RMITCS section may have been of historical interest. If it really is of interest to anyone else I'll convert it for the new site.
Sega Genesis Emulators and 68k stuff
These were just mirrors and other Genesis emulators are getting more maintenance now.
Music stuff
Always needed work.
Cooking and Nutrition stuff
Still being written.
Obsolete Image Gallery
Not a priority.
Obsolete RPG notes and resources
Probably not coming back.
Dylan's todo list charts
I would like to re-add this, when I get the time, probably using a Python plotter directly on my .todo rather than a RRDTool database.
Outdated Contact, Links and similar misc pages
Maybe later.

Rewriting my site using Nikola

As my old site design had became rather grating (both visually and on the backend) I've decided to rebuild my site completely.

The previous system, from 2004 (!), used Make to "compile" a set of PHP scripts together, producing a mostly static HTML result. Consistent sidebars, headers etc were just PHP includes. A few directories were built with special Make/PHP targets to convert a collection of XML into HTML, or generate a static image gallery from a directory hierarchy of images.

Although I am starting over again - and avoiding PHP this time - I want to do things a similar way, building a static site from a set of files that can programatically generate content.

After looking into a few ReST, Markdown and templating alternatives - including rst2web and Sphinx - I settled on using Nikola.

Nikola works similarly to my old system of "building" a dynamic site into static HTML. Page content can be added to a source tree using ReST or a variety of other formats, and the build process takes care of converting it and adding consistent navigation and styling. It also supports image galleries like my old site system, taking folders of images and converting them into a static gallery with thumbnails etc.

As an added bonus, it includes excellent blog post support, so hopefully I'll be making more posts like this.