Micro.blog

Cheri
Cheri
Some thoughts on micro.blog theming hypertext.monster
pimoore
pimoore

@Cheri I had investigated the static site hosting on Netlify as an option, but I didn’t like the fact there was no easy way to have webmentions. Netlify’s business model also worried me a bit, since I don’t know how many people are just using their free service.

Cheri
Cheri

@pimoore Yeah. I don't need webmentions, so that's fine, but I do wonder about their business model. Their free hosting is generous while their add-on packages are expensive and unappealing. I hope they're making some $$ in the interest of them sticking around.

pimoore
pimoore

@Cheri Bingo, I had the same thought when I looked at them and Vercel. If they ditch their free plans at any point a lot of people will be left high and dry. GH Pages seemed very limited in comparison, though there’s also Cloudflare Pages now.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@Cheri I think they are doing really well. Most of what you get for their expensive plans are things you need / want for larger(or more complex) projects / enterprise situations. It isn’t unusual that these kinds of services only focuses on making money from customers that will spend more money per month / year.

I did a fair amount of research for a indie project I decided to drop for different reasons. And I totally get why they don’t really focus on smaller sites because you don’t make a lot of money on $3-5 transactions.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@pimoore I don’t any of them will ditch free pages. A lot of these kinds of products get introduced to larger projects because they have plans that makes it easy for developers to test them out and introduce them to larger projects if they like it.

Cheri
Cheri

@hjertnes That's good to hear. I've watched a few of their youtube videos and they seem like a good company. 🙂 I hate feeling like a mooch but maybe I'll have need for one of their add on services when I hit the big time.

Cheri
Cheri

@pimoore If you don't mind my asking - did you ever find central documentation of micro blog's hugo internals? You did a fab job on the Tufte theme and I'm inspired. But I'm also kind of lazy when it comes to digging around in code guts. 😏 PS: your theme documentation is fantastic.

ReaderJohn
ReaderJohn

@Cheri Nailed it.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@Cheri The only reason companies do free anything is because it has some kind of positive impact on their business 🤷‍♂️

cdevroe
cdevroe

@Cheri I feel this post.

jsonbecker
jsonbecker

@Cheri I feel the same way having come from self-hosted Hugo into Micro.blog.

In the end, I deal with some of the theming challenges, because I really like having the app access for posting and don't want to roll my own Micropub API server. But the slight differences in Micro.blog and straight hugo (and frankly, great experience of hugo development locally) definitely gets to me at times.

pimoore
pimoore

@Cheri Thanks so much, I really appreciate reading that as I was hoping my docs made sense! I didn’t dig around in the Micro.blog internals, I just used the Minos theme as a base and went from there. There were a couple of things I tried to modify that I don’t recall, but couldn’t get to work as I believe the Hugo functionality isn’t available in M.b. Either because it’s an earlier version or that certain things like front matter aren’t exposed.

Perhaps @manton can give you some more details about the guts of Hugo within M.b.

pimoore
pimoore

@hjertnes That makes sense, I was always curious how they made money. // @cheri

Cheri
Cheri

@pimoore Ah! That makes sense. An existing theme as a model. 👍🏼

manton
manton

@Cheri I definitely need to work on documentation. Micro.blog really is using actual Hugo (an older version, but unmodified) so the main confusion is usually built-in parameters and how themes are merged together. Starting with a basic theme instead of from scratch helps a lot as @pimoore said.

jsonbecker
jsonbecker

@manton I kind of wonder if I pulled all the M.b specific parameters into a partial if I could run Hugo locally while developing with less challenges. This also comes back to the idea of pulling my theme from Github versus pasting it into M.b interface, which I guess gets back to making my custom theme a plug-in 🤔

Cheri
Cheri

@manton Thanks, that makes sense. I started by importing a github theme, then as expected it didn't build because the hookups were wrong, then I felt stuck because I couldn't "see" the micro.blog side of things. Sounds like I'd need to slow my roll and build up from something basic. 🙂

manton
manton

@jsonbecker Yes, I think making local development easier would go a long way to improving this, if nothing else because it would be faster. I don't think you'd need a partial, just a custom config.json file.

In reply to
manton
manton

@Cheri By the way, if you haven't seen it, check out this video I made on YouTube. It's a little out of date but is probably the best introduction to taking a plain Hugo theme and updating it.

pimoore
pimoore

@Cheri @manton My thought process in porting Tufte was instead of building a theme around a CSS, I came at it from the opposite angle and modified the CSS around an existing Micro.blog theme. This made it easy to keep the existing M.b. specific designs and functionality in place without having to figure out what’s needed. This was always the strumbling block I came across when trying to port other third-party Hugo themes to Micro.blog. I got some of them to mostly work, but could never get them 100%.

amit
amit

@Cheri I share your experience. I'd recently started customizing a Hugo theme for micro.blog and realized it's not that easy. I didn't proceed as that wasn't something I was ready to take up.