What tools did you use for building this Blog?

This blog is powered by the static site generator Hugo. The theme is partly handcrafted but took over quite some building blocks from the theme Hugo-Icarus (with some small changes).

Go tutorial posts are a single file consisting of code and extensive commenting. I wrote a tool, gotohugo, that turns this into a Markdown document with code blocks. Hugo then generates static HTML from the Markdown file.

For the animations I use the app Hype Pro. I export the animation to HTML5/JS format which I place into the Hugo tree. Gotohugo picks up the data and creates a link to it in the Markdown document.

For static graphics, and also when I need complex shapes in Hype animations, I use Affinity Designer.

What’s that strange font you are using in the titles and headings?

Oh, that one? That’s Avería Libre. You might think it looks like a rookie artist’s attempt on creating some kind of handwriting font. But in fact, this font not hand-crafted at all. It has been entirely created by an algorithm, developed by Dan Sayers to calculate the average of all 725 fonts in the Google Web Fonts project (as of 9 Nov 2011). (A pretty average font, so to speak.)

A font made by an algorithm. Honestly, could there be a better font for nerds like me?

Read Avería Libre’s story here.

Animations are nice, but what’s the point?

Two things came together.

Some years ago, I came across a fascinating interactive animation of the AES256 (a.k.a Rijndael) algorithm. The original flash animation is still available here (second paragraph, “The Rijndael Animation”), but most modern browsers reject flash content (and rightly so). To preserve the animation, I recorded a video of it and put it on Youtube. (Full disclosure: I am not the only one who did this. But at least I can claim to have made a video in decent quality, with about the right speed, and without annoying background music!)
This animation explains the encryption with neither math nor code! I thought to myself, if this is possible with a highly mathematical algorithm like AES256, then it must be possible with any piece of algorithm.

Some time later, a commenter on /r/golang asked something along the lines,

“Why do you Go folks have such text heavy blogs? In the [Python/Ruby/… can’t remember what language the person mentioned] world where I come from, bloggers generously add images and diagrams to their posts.”

This struck a chord with me.

I thought to myself, “If you ever start a blog about programming, ensure to add pictures, diagrams, and animations.” And so I did.