BREYDON’s methods of writing internet

First published April 2020.
Updated 08 December 2022.

1. Background

For a couple of decades, I cast the raggedy knits of Hypertext Markup Language (H.T.M.L.) and Cascading Style Sheets (C.S.S.) that strung my webpages. Typing directly in H.T.M.L. is still, I reckon, the best way to make a small website — especially for the novice!

So why do it any differently? In my case, a few things have changed:

  1. Living pages grew much more numerous.
  2. The use of my fingers has diminished.
  3. I am no longer all that interested in the web.

2. Software

Now most of what I write for the internet goes into one continuous lump. This file is easily arranged using a format called “Org”. I bung in some annotations (for special details such as links, dates, or captions), and then use Org mode (in the text‐editing software Emacs) to generate a variety of documents for each section.

As of February 2022, new and revised pages around here are produced with:

  • Carsten Dominik’s Org version 9·5
  • Justin Abrahms’ ox-gemini.el version 0, for gemini hypertext
  • Jonathan Kew & Khaled Hosny’s XeLaTeX; and other packages in TeX Live 2021, for print‐oriented formats
  • LilyPond 2·18·2, for music notation
  • some ad hoc hacks of my own making

Though it would be lovely to breeze along on sophisticated, automated processing of everything, I just manually export specific passages as needed. :EXPORT_FILE_NAME: paths ensure correct placement within the directory structure and can be used to label draft runs.

* Pronouns & titles   :about:pronouns:
:custom_id: pronouns
:header-args:text: :tangle :noweb-ref pronouns-gophertag :exports none
:EXPORT_DATE: 08 November 2020
# and so on

Before going online, I also export the source file as one whole unit (afresh), and introduce the newly generated updates to my other material for publication.

rsync --exclude 'DRAFT*' --update --recursive --verbose ~/ ~/public/

The revised sections then sit in ~/public/ waiting to be copied to the server. Along with the updated documents, this folder holds unchanged, earlier exports and things like audio and hand‐coded files.