Hidden Wonders

About


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Table of Contents

Who?[#]


It’s me, the owner of this website, available at the following addresses:

Email (which I check very infrequently): c3Rvcm12cHhAZGlzcm9vdC5vcmcK

What?[#]


This is a website. I write about topics such as:

Feel free to browse my articles by tag to only see articles of a certain topic.

Licensing[#]


Any code posted on this site (unless I state it is not as my own) is licensed under the MIT license unless otherwise stated.

Content on this site is licensed under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license unless otherwise stated.

Not all content on this site is my own (many images, for instance), so it’s not my problem what you do with that stuff. Images, code, and anything else that I do not own I use under fair use.

Privacy[#]


I can in theory get any information your browser sends to me, same as any website (such as IP address, user agent, etc.). I don’t use anything but CSS and HTML, so there’s not much in the way of information I can get from you. More importantly, I don’t know how to retrieve any of that information, because I’ve never bothered looking for it. No user information, if acquired, will ever be given or sold to any third party.

When?[#]


This site has an RSS feed, which can be used to keep track of site updates.

The current iteration of this site under the name “Hidden Wonders” was created on 2022-06-30. This site has existed in one form or another since late 2020/early 2021——this is why some articles are dated from before this site’s creation. Much of the content on this site was written before I’d even looked into setting up a website.

On 2023-03-18, the site’s theme got a major upgrade. As of 2023-08-14, I’m finally happy with how the redesign looks, though site modifications are always ongoing.

Why?[#]


Keep that warm flame burning inside your heart... If you shine that light over it, I'm sure you'll be able to see it. The hidden wonder, that is.

— Aria the Natural, Ep9

It’s so easy to become a bitter, dormant human being, to let the pains and hardships of one’s existence drown out all potential one has for creation, thought, and beauty. To avoid this, we must strive to keep alive an inner warmth which we all possess——or fight to reclaim this warmth, if it has already been lost. If you look out at the world and all you can see is human mistakes and annoyances, you’ve lost that warmth.

It’s a tender, light, childish quality that allows one to remain interested in the world around us. It keeps us alive, brings joy to the people around us as well as ourselves, and brings us a sense of awe for the universe as a whole. With this warmth, our eyes can open to the hidden wonders. With this warmth, life’s meaning can be derived from anything: the clouds, specs of dust, or——in the words of William Carlos Williams——"a red wheel barrow, glazed with rain water, beside the white chickens." I don’t think I’m interpreting the poem as it was intended to be interpreted, but I believe it seeks to show that the ability to appreciate the mundane and the common in our lives is vital to our continued existence.

And so, I’ve found myself creating this website in an attempt to keep myself warm, and I hope to cultivate that warm feeling in others as well. Often I will write about various topics in technology——which doesn’t exactly fulfill my website’s stated goal——but I hope to publish on this site more thoughtful, less negative articles in the coming years about a number of topics.

Where/How?[#]


This site is hosted on a VPS running the latest version of Debian that was available when I set up the site. Debian is a stable Linux distribution which many prefer to use on servers. I’ve considered switching to other operating systems such as OpenBSD or NixOS, but I stick with more traditional Linux distributions like Debian or Arch Linux that I’m more experienced with.

On the VPS, an nginx HTTP server manages web requests, and python-certbot is used to obtain a valid HTTPS certificate. I have disabled password logins in the ssh configuration file, so unauthorized attempts to access the server don’t keep me up at night.

The site is generated using Hugo, a static site generator which I would highly recommend. Articles for the site are written as Markdown files in the Neovim text editor.

The site is tested with the hugo server -D command. Once the site appears satisfactory, it is built with the hugo command. This places the built site in the public/ directory, which is sent to the VPS from my local machine with the command rsync -uvrP --delete-after $SITE_DIR $ADDRESS:$SERVER_DIR. I have this in a bash script that does a bit more than that, but that’s the gist of it.

Hugo is pretty cool and easy to use, but rather time consuming and annoying to configure. It becomes challenging to add certain features to the site, and figuring out which layout file is responsible for rendering a certain page is far from intuitive. I’d recommend trying a more minimal option——maybe just write pure HTML?——if any readers are thinking of starting their own sites. The only problem with pure HTML is that features like tags, RSS, and repetitive header/footer page contents become a chore to maintain (why I started using Hugo to begin with).

Most of the themes available for Hugo are horribly bloated with JavaScript and other garbage. There are valid use cases for JavaScript, but a simple blog-style site for sharing text and images is not one of them! Browsing the minimal themes, I chose the Lekh theme, which appeared to me the nicest looking minimal theme on the Hugo website. From there, I tore apart the whole theme, ripping out the JavaScript. The CSS was completely revamped in the 2023 update to the site’s appearance, and the Hugo layouts folder was altered and rewritten to suit the needs of the site. I am very happy with the result, and I will continue tweaking aspects of the theme as I continue developing and maintaining the site.

In the future, I will likely post my finalized Hugo theme on this site so others can easily use it.


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Site Licensing Site last updated: 2024-06-08