Relaunch Backstory

I relaunched this site (again) in December 2023. I’ve struggled for a while on how to position a site like this. Since I’m a developer I’ve always felt like the site should have a “professional” feel but something about that never quite sat right with me. This is my personal site it should reflect me as a person, not as some kind of online professional presence.

At LaraconUS 2023 I saw Aaron Francis do a fantastic job as emcee and give a moving talk about putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. Later, he relaunched his personal site and it was a great blend of both his professional activities and his personal life. That site was the inspiration for the relaunch of my personal site; a new place where I can share all that I’m working on and be the whole person that I am.

Typography and Styling

Body Copy

At WCUS 2022 I saw a presentation by Michelle R Schulp which had a marvelous font in it. I asked her afterward and she told me that it was Brandon Grotesque. In looking for the font I discovered that the foundry also had Brandon Text which was optimized for screen display. This captured exactly what I was looking for in a font:

  • san-serif
  • clean
  • simple
  • readable
  • a little character


I wanted headings to be related to my body copy but I didn’t want them to be too long (sometimes I can be wordy). I tried Brandon Grotesque and it was just longer than I wanted. Then I discovered that the foundry had a condensed version!

  • similar look to body
  • enough difference to really set off the characters
  • condensed for shorter lines


In May 2020 I bought MonoLisa and I’ve been using it in terminals and text editors ever since. Since I purchased it with the professional license that let me use the font online as well it’s been on my todo list (for years) to actually implement it on the website. Now I have and I’m very happy with how it looks.

Syntax Highlighting

Sharing code was a key feature of the latest site redesign. Previously I’d been using an integration with Gist to handle code but then code didn’t show up well in RSS feeds. I saw Prism a while back and kept it in the back of my mind for possible use on the site. I really like the progressive enhancement nature of the solution and I’m running it with the Tomorrow Night theme which is reminiscent of the Sunburst TextMate theme which has been my preferred color scheme for over a decade.