responsive pattern

HTML drawing by Laura Scott

It was 2001 when I first started blogging. It would be a few years before I heard the word "blog", so maybe my early endeavor in online journaling wouldn't count for purists, but I was journaling online. This was a rather introspective period in my life and I felt compelled to my thoughts and experiences in this worldwide web I'd been playing with for several years. So I hand-coded a site, a static HTML affair that I had to update completely every time I posted an update. (I didn't really care for the limitations of the various services out there.) Over the next year and a half, the site grew in size, making my deployments more complicated. The blog also became collectively more and more emotionally raw, until one day, in a fit of mortified embarrassment and disgust, I deleted the whole thing and didn't look back. So yes, I started blogging eleven years ago, but I haven't been blogging for eleven years.

In 2004 I started doing some ranty blogging with a political slant, and I've continued that over the years, pseudonymously, first on Blogger, then on a Drupal site I built myself (my first, actually). Chalk it up to political cynicism fatigue that I have scarcely looked at that site in quite some time. It's hard for me to allow myself to get worked up over political issues, especially when our politics are so broken. It's an emotional space I don't care for. It drains me. I remain engaged politically, but my engagement no longer includes political blogging. That may change in the future. Who knows?

This blog I started in October 2005 to blog about stuff that interested me. Those were interesting times in 2005. I was still absorbing the profound changes technology was effecting on our culture and in our daily lives. I'm still absorbing it, actually.

So, in technical terms, my online life has shifted from a self-built flat html site to a saas blog to some self-built blogs, commercial sites, and communities.

Over the last couple of years, the foci of my sharing compulsion have gradually shifted towards Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, and the like. The interconnectedness of these networks is what appeals. It's what works better now for quick sharing, sad to say, and it's what I feel is more indicative of trends in the future.

So why spend time going back and updating this blog? It's a silo, for the most part. A year or so ago I tried an experiment ameliorating that feeling by replacing the Drupal comments system with Disqus comments, and I think that has helped make this feel less like a silo, more connected. People who have never seen this blog can follow a link and find that they are already logged in to share a thought in the comments. Others can log in using any of a number of existing accounts elsewhere. Identity management wins (albeit in the proprietary realm).

This blog is also my home, in a sense. I feel a responsibility to maintain its upkeep. And part of that is progressing with the rest of the Drupal community. I share in this fabulous commons, and the drop is always moving. I must keep moving, too, even for this oft-quiescent blog.

So what did I do? First was the most recent of a series of Drupal upgrades. Since my first post here, when the site was powered by Drupal 4.6, I upgraded to Drupal 4.7. Then Drupal 5. Then Drupal 6. This past weekend I upgraded rare pattern to Drupal 7, and decided to give it a new look. The design was done in the browser. The theme is a child theme of the Square Grid theme, which itself handles nearly all of the responsive design needs. I was delighted to keep my fully commented css file down to 350 444 lines.

(I'm never done, I just stop.)