Refreshed Design

Posted on September 13, 2014

I’ve updated the design of this blog, switching from Jekyll to Hakyll in the process.

I also took the chance to use a free domain from Namecheap,, and restructure this blog to be hosted under /blog instead of at the root of the site.

The New Design

This design is inspired by Google’s new Material Design, and in particular the Paper Elements demo. However, it’s not as elaborate as Google’s demos, nor is it animated—I’ve simply taken the superficial look.

Personally I find that Material Design has too much whitespace—Google’s designers know better than I do, but the neon colors and excessive padding in the design guidelines bothered me in general. I have also opted for the Crimson and Open Sans fonts over Google’s Roboto.

Admittedly, the animations in Material Design are gorgeous—the ink ripple effect is a nice touch, and the way the pages smoothly morph into each other makes the UI feel responsive. I have not replicated them because they’re overkill for this simple blog, but using Polymer to develop a web app with these styles is definitely something I will be trying.

I find the use of shadows, paper, and other skeuomorphic effects in Material Design interesting as well—the current trend has been towards completely flat interfaces, which started with Microsoft’s Zune and continued with Windows Phone 7, Metro, Google’s Holo, and Apple’s iOS 6. Material reverses the trend away from skeuomorphism while still retaining the “flat” design that is so popular.

My redesign here is still ongoing—I’d like to differentiate myself from Material Design further and create my own look (though this design will clearly be inspired by Material).

About Hakyll

Github Pages has Jekyll built in, making it quite convenient to use. However, depending on Github to run Jekyll on my repository was frustrating; it took a while for the site to be rebuilt, and I had to wait until then for error messages. There also isn’t a way to disable processing for certain pages—everything gets run through Jekyll, whether I like it or not. Running Jekyll locally would have solved these issues, of course. Instead of Jekyll I decided to use Hakyll, a Haskell site generator.

Hakyll specifies configuration in Haskell code; instead of running “the” Hakyll processor, your configuration is compiled into a site generator, which you then run to output the actual site.

Final Notes

I’ve been quite busy these past couple months and haven’t had a chance to really work on SymPy or write posts. I promise more is coming soon, about a TypeScript/Canvas project that I’ve been working on for a few months now.


2015-02-01: New About page.

2014-09-12: Added back Disqus commenting, updated home page, tweaked styling, merged about/contact, added RSS.

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