Pardon the dust

Pardon the dust

If you are reading this on my website and not through an RSS reader, it may appear that a lot of things are suddenly different. You're not crazy! What you are seeing are the first fruits of a website update that I've been planning since the spring, and which made its first big real-life steps today. I wanted to write this post to explain what's going on and to keep track of what works and what doesn't.

What's going on here and how it's going

Briefly, I am migrating the website and blog from its previous home as a Jekyll blog hosted on GitHub Pages, to a Ghost blog hosted on Digital Ocean. The main reason for doing so is to fix some structural issues that have been with the website since I first put it on GitHub and to overcome some limitations of the Jekyll/GitHub Pages approach (such as being unable to use post tags).

Today (July 23) was the day that I flipped the switch on the new blog by setting up the Ghost account on Digital Ocean and pointing the domain away from the GitHub site to this new site. It was surprisingly painless --- Digital Ocean does a great job with its tutorials, and the containerized "droplet" approach to the hosting account makes a ton of sense and is easy to set up and maintain.

So I've put the key in the door and moved some of my stuff in. But, of course, not everything works right now.

What's broken so far

  • There is no script or method I know of for importing blog from Jekyll to Ghost. So I have been forced to copy and paste each post from my GitHub repository to the new site... by hand. It's a slow process. So far, only the posts from 2018 have been migrated over. Posts from 2017 and earlier aren't here yet. See below for how to find the earlier posts while I port them over one by one over the next few weeks (months?).
  • In particular, the links on the GTD for Academics page don't all work because many of those posts came in 2017. Those are first in line to be ported in.
  • The way I did this migration unfortunately broke the links to all the images in the posts. I've gone back and fixed all the header images to the (2018) posts, but I have not yet fixed the links to images in the bodies of those posts. That'll come in time. Also, the "image credits" in the posts don't always match the images because in some cases it was easier just to search and insert new images than find the old ones.
  • I had to hand-recode all the permalinks of the posts to make sure that links point to the right things. I might have missed a few of those, so it's possible that links from older sources don't work. Let me know if that's the case and I'll fix it.
  • This isn't really something broken but I haven't yet picked a visual design for the website and am just sticking with the default while I try more themes out, and the homepage just says "Ghost" instead of my name. These will change soon.
  • There's also no comments yet on posts. How comments work depends somewhat on the choice of theme, so I have to pick the theme first. Stay tuned.

Workarounds for the broken stuff

To access earlier posts:

  • If it's from 2016-2017: You can go to the GitHub repository for the $(n-1)$st version of the blog and then to the \_posts directory and find the raw Markdown files. That's not ideal, I know, but I'll be working on getting those posts moved over soon.
  • If it's from 2015 or earlier: Those can all be found at the archive hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Just go here and search. Honestly it's unlikely that those posts will ever be moved over here to the new website except for maybe the most popular ones. Sorry.

If a link is broken or an image is missing, you can email me and tell me about it.

To-Do list

Keep checking back here for status updates:

  • Fix post images for 2018 articles 2018-07-25
  • ~~Decide on blog theme and implement ~~
  • ~~Import posts from GTD series ~~
  • Change blog banner image and logo @next
  • Set up commenting <-- After some deliberation and asking around from readers, I've decided not to implement comments on the blog -- it's work, attracts trolls and spam, and most readers said they didn't want them anyhow. To discuss what I'm writing here, just use Twitter (and include me @RobertTalbert) or your actual in-person social network.
  • Import posts from Q4 2017
  • Import posts from Q3 2017
  • Import posts from Q2 2017
  • Import posts from Q1 2017
  • Repeat for 2016
  • Look into adding search function

Thanks again for your patience and for reading!

Robert Talbert

Robert Talbert

Mathematics professor who writes and speaks about math, research and practice on teaching and learning, technology, productivity, and higher education.