18. January 2013

Behind the scenes: a thought abroad

A blog is a nice opportunity to have a crack at different technologies. Here is a summary of systems and software involved in running this blog.



Web hosting service

This blog is hosted with Dreamhost. I am happy with this provider. Things just work, and the provider has a nice, honest, and pragmatic approach. I never felt patronized, and promises were kept. In summary, it seems to me that Dreamhost is a company driven by engineers for engineers.

Blogging software

The content management system behind this blog is Textpattern. I like it for its minimalism. Textpattern is quite programmer-friendly because content, layout, and functionality is broken up in small pieces. It is relatively easy to extend Textpattern with plugins.

Math snippets

In order to display some maths here and there, latex-txp adds LaTeX support to Textpattern. This plugin uses latex2image in order to locally render LaTeX to images. The rendered images are cached for faster retrieval. Example:

c8b50fd64631be185061e8465567b159802c1981

Code snippets

The pygments-txp plugin integrates the Pygments into Textpattern. Example:

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python
 2 # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
 3 
 4 from math import sqrt
 5 
 6 def hypotenuse(a, b):
 7     """Calculates the hypotenuse given the
 8     two legs of a right triangle."""
 9     return sqrt(a*a + b*b)
10 
11 print hypotenuse(3.0, 4.0)

Font

This blog uses a font chosen from the large collection of Google Web Fonts, which modern browsers will automatically download if necessary (see CSS3: @font-face).

Image gallery

The image galleries that are occasionally found below blog posts are powered by jQuery and Gallerific.