Making progress on Pelican

Sat 26 February 2022

I've been tinkering with Pelican, and Pelican themes, for several days now. There is SO much to learn, but I think I'm starting to grok the basics. Themes in particular have been tripping me up for a while; I've perused probably 150 themes that are available on the web, tried maybe a dozen, and haven't been entirely satisfied with any of them, in large part because a lot of the implementations are terribly complex, with lots of Javascript, dependence on additional libraries, lots of deviation from the base Pelican theme structure, etc.

I've also been tripping over the notion of having Javascript in the templates, and though I'm not opposed to it, it adds another level of complexity that I'd like to avoid for the time being. I've finally realized that I can likely do most, if not all of what I want, with just CSS and HTML5. This seems to be a sensible level of complexity - there's a lot there to learn, but the online training materials are quite good - W3Schools in particular.

Beyond the basics of creating web content, there's also the learning curve on Pelican itself. I have to say that I find the documentation to be a bit weak, as it is presented more in the form of examples or tutorials, rather than in the form of a user manual. A good example of user-manual style documentation is the Redis command reference. And then there's reStructuredText! This also is a new learning curve for me. It's not horrible, but will certainly take some time to develop some comfort with it.

So there you go; I'm dealing with several new tools/languages, all of which are separate and yet interrelated. Fortunately I am a software guy; I get computer languages. But the world of content creation and presentation is very different from the embedded and numerical computation programming world I grew up in.