I have been working the past few days on an update to this blog that I have taken to calling “The Unix Update”. While the previous design was simple and accessible, it didn’t really speak to me. It was a mechanism to get my ideas out, nothing more and nothing less.

However, last week I discovered Berkeley Graphics, a 1-person shop that creates font faces such as Berkeley Mono. You may recognize this font face as the one now used on this blog. In fact it was the purchase of the indie license that renewed my interest in the design of my blog, prompting me to consider how to achieve a look and feel that was more representative of my interest in software. Knowing how good the font looks in a unix terminal, and the amount of time I spend in one, I felt it would be a fitting theme.

the header

  File: /home/parasrah/posts/blog | unix update
  Size: 182 words
Access: (0777/lrwxrwxrwx) Uid: ( 1000/parasrah) Gid: ( 100/ users)
Modify: 2023-02-19 10:01:00 -0700
 Birth: 2023-02-19 10:01:00 -0700

The above is an example of the header as it is shown on a desktop computer, for those of us viewing the minimal version shown to mobile devices. This is hopefully familiar to some readers as being reminiscent of the stat command:

$ stat content/posts/blog-unix-update.md
  File: content/posts/blog-unix-update.md
  Size: 1410      	Blocks: 8          IO Block: 4096   regular file
Device: 254,0	Inode: 12452223    Links: 1
Access: (0644/-rw-r--r--)  Uid: ( 1000/parasrah)   Gid: (  100/   users)
Access: 2023-02-19 10:32:38.266053217 -0700
Modify: 2023-02-19 10:32:38.057054939 -0700
Change: 2023-02-19 10:32:38.057054939 -0700
 Birth: 2023-02-19 10:01:00.520610099 -0700

There was some room to be creative here:

  1. The Size metadata shows the length of the post in words
  2. The Modify metadata pulls the last modified date from the git info for the post file
  3. The Birth displays the creation date in the front-matter of the raw post file

the index

Again, for the sake of those on their mobile devices:

drwxr-xr-x parasrah 4096 Feb 19 2023 blog | unix update
drwxr-xr-x parasrah 4096 Jan 10 2023 spotlight |  elixir/erlang
drwxr-xr-x parasrah 4096 Dec 13 2022 spotlight | NixOS
drwxr-xr-x parasrah 4096 Dec 12 2022 gaming on linux

The index page listing the posts is again hopefully familiar to some readers, as it is inspired by the output of ls

$ ls -l | head -n 5
total 104
-rw-r--r-- 1 parasrah users 3447 Feb 19 10:04 about-this-blog.md
-rw-r--r-- 1 parasrah users 2248 Feb 19 00:03 appreciating-nixos.md
-rw-r--r-- 1 parasrah users 2647 Feb 19 00:03 awesome-software.md
-rw-r--r-- 1 parasrah users 2866 Feb 19 10:45 blog-unix-update.md

A lot of this information is currently meaningless, and only present to evoke the feeling of ls. That said, the date and post title are meaningful, and have more importance placed on them via their opacity, color and text style.