Version 1.0

A bit of a summary of the build of this site and how it works.

So here it is — version 1.0!

I've been keen to get Heart Soul Machine up and running for a while now. I've put it off for ages, wanting time and space to get it all perfect in my head. That lack of action prompted me to just go ahead and build it. Perfection is the enemy of good. 100% of nothing is zero.

This is a space for me, not everyone else. I wanted to create somewhere beyond the performant nature of social media. Somewhere social and connected, but my own space.

I thought it might be useful to go into a little bit about what is happening behind the scenes of HSM - what is the machine?

The site is built with 11ty a javascript based static site generator or SSG. An SSG essentially outputs your entire website as static HTML pages. This means you don't need to run a special web server or maintain a database. I create the content as Markdown files, build out the templates I want and the SSG smooshes them together. I just use the command line to BUILD, and it outputs a folder full of files I can deploy anywhere. What the SSG does best is allow me to use some basic programming like IFTTT style statements to create extra functionality.

I'm currently hosting the site on GitHub Pages. I've been a customer of GitHub for quite a while, and while it's been bought by Micro$oft it's still performant and provides me what I need. The beauty of a SSG is that the actual files live on my computer. I can back them up and put the site up on any number of services — so I have flexibility built in.

I've tried to do some new things with 11ty, SVGs, HTML and CSS during the build. For that end I've packaged up a few things into the site: