Jared White Photo of Jared

Expressively publishing on the open web since 1996.
Entranced by Portland, Oregon since 2017.

Now Page

Derek Sivers kicked off a movement of people publishing Now pages on their websites to share what they’re focused on right now, and I think that’s a cool idea, so here’s mine!

  • Something I realized recently is I hadn’t felt very satisfied about my workflow in terms of updating and previewing changes on this website. In the past, I used a homegrown CMS to post blog updates and tweak content, but since the last redesign and migration to a new version of Bridgetown, everything’s just been regular ol’ text in a Git repo.
  • Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be fiddling around in VSCode to post something on my blog when I have 5 other coding projects open and hundreds of browser tabs and other such nonsense. And I don’t want to have to worry about which version of the repo I’m editing. (Is my local clone in sync with remote? and visa-versa?) And I don’t want to have to worry about which device is handy at any particular time. I should be able to use my Mac mini, my MacBook Pro, my iPad, or even my iPhone should the mood strike.
  • So I’ve switched up my workflow and I’m now using GitPod to manage my website. This is actually another development environment—essentially “VSCode in the Cloud” (much like GitHub Codespaces)—but by keeping this separate from my standard local development environment, and by using the cloud, I can edit and preview my site anytime from anywhere. That’s only Step #1 however.
  • Step #2 is to break GitPod out into its own “application”. This is less necessary on iPad or iPhone where it’s easy to let a browser tab sort of take over your whole workspace…but on macOS, we need to do some extra work to contain things. So I’m trying out a tool called Unite (FYI that link is an affiliate link for 512 Pixels—happy to help them out as a fan). Unite lets you create new standalone macOS applications out of any websites you choose. And because the underlying browser engine is WebKit—same as in Safari—everything feels very familiar and fast, and the application binary isn’t very large. (A big relief for anyone suffering from Electron fatigue!)
  • So I’m writing this very Now Page update using the GitPod “app” on my Mac. I have the editor window covering literally my entire screen, with the development area on the left ½ and the Bridgetown website preview on the right (using GitPod’s “Simple Browser”). It’s a very sweet solution. 🤓
  • Now that I have a dedicated space to work on new content in the blink of an eye, I’m hoping it’ll reduce the friction in my mind of posting new content. Keeping my fingers crossed! 🤞

Posted on September 12, 2022

“Now Page” Archive


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