Posts

Considerations for CMS Integrations with JAMstack Sites

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It is often assumed that static site generators have limitations that server side rendering or client side rendering is necessary to get beyond. Single page applications, progressive web apps, engaging and dynamic UI's, integrations with databases and content management systems; these cannot be used with a statically generated site can they? They certainly can. One of the names this technique goes by is JAMstack. While in my opinion a server sending prebuilt HTML to a browser should be the standard it has become necessary to give it a name as both the server side and browser side of web development has become cumbersome and overly complex.
However there are many things to consider when building a JAMstack website. How do you integrate content and databases? How do you enhance it with modern web development techniques such as SPA and PWA? We will take a look at some of these considerations and specifically how they apply to web content management.
Fine Tuned Build Hooks If your we…

Pinterest, Facebook, and the Future of Social Media

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The world wide web promised to allow anyone and everyone to distribute content to the world. In previous generations newspapers, magazines, radio, and television were the mediums of content distribution. This meant that the content we consumed was funneled through centralized authorities. The news, art, opinions, and stories that we read, heard, and watched had to come from one of these outlets.

The promise of the web was to break down this centralization and control by giving everyone access to distribute content. The centralized authorities that dominated content distribution of previous generations would come to an end and people would be free to connect and share with one another directly. Enter social media; the height of this promise of personal connection.

Users of social media platforms do not see themselves as content creators, but that is indeed what they are. They produce serialized stories and opinions, provide inspiration, and in many other ways produce content that othe…

Inspiration from Contentful and Netlify

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The Contentful and Netlify combination has become a popular architecture for web development. This is for good reason as each of these have solved their respective problems in a powerful way. Contentful has made content easy to configure and produce. It is flexible enough to create a wide array of schemas and has easy to use API's no matter what platform on which you are developing. On the other side it has made this content easy to create with clean customizable interfaces.

Netlify has similarly solved the problem of web hosting in a powerful way with HTTPS by default, global CDN, and continuous integration. Combined with Github code hosting and Contentful connected build code this creates a powerful architecture to build apps and websites on.

As seen on Static Gen there are lots of options for producing the app that goes along with this infrastructure trio. While many of these options are great, one option that seemed to be missing was a static site generator that stayed as clo…

The Free Tier of the Limitless CMS Landscape

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Many web technologies are solved problems. Some are overly solved problems. Others are overly engineered, solved problems. Content management is in a stage where there are many interesting tools being created without much consensus being reached. Creativity is fun but stressful. Consensus is boring but powerful.

I am on a continuous content management journey in my professional career, trying to find the best options for various use cases. Right now my personal content is distributed across Firebase, Contentful, and Blogger, delivered through various apps in a myriad of ways, all living under the alexlockhart.me domain. This complexity is intentional as I am always using my own personal content as a means of exploring web technologies.

At the moment I am looking for a free tier CMS that can support my own content needs in the long run and can be used to support small level clients while being capable of cheaply evolving into large scale solutions. Integrating Contentful with a custom…

How to Draw an Isometric Forest

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If you're going to draw impressive isometric villages then it is important to be able to draw lots of different types of things in order to give variation. In this blog post we'll look at how to draw isometric trees.
SuppliesPencilIsometric paperSakura Pigma Micron PensWinsor and Newton ProMarkers We will need the 005 pen and Cool Grey 4 markers. All of these materials are available at the links above. Step 1: Trunk Outline Start by using the pencil to draw a simple rectangular shape. Extend it two boxes high and one box thick.


Step 2: Containing Box Now outline an imaginary containing box around the shape of the tree. This will serve as a guide when drawing the tree shape in the next step. I drew the lines that represent "the other side" of the box as dotted lines in order to help with my own understanding of the perspective.


Step 3: Tree Shape Now draw the tree shape. It should fill almost the entire box, should be randomly wiggly and deformed, and should stretch …

How to Draw an Isometric River

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If you're going to draw impressive isometric villages then it is important to be able to draw lots of different types of things in order to give variation. In this blog post we'll look at how to draw an isometric river.
SuppliesPencilIsometric paperSakura Pigma Micron PensWinsor and Newton ProMarkers We will need the 005 pen and Cool Grey 1-4 markers. All of these materials are available at the links above. Step 1: Cliff and River Outline Our example river will have a small cliff on the top side and will flow over a small waterfall. Go ahead and use the pencil to add these outlines. Notice the downward pencil marks on the cliffs help show the height of the cliff and they get shorter as they approach the end of the cliff. This represents the top of the cliff meeting the ground below. Make the pencil outline of the river random and wiggly.


Step 2: Rocks Now break up the bottom of the cliffs and the edge of the river by drawing in some rocks. This will give some character to the…

How to Draw an Isometric Village

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I continued my isometric drawing craze, this time experimenting with drawing a village. As you can see a few buildings and some natural features can really make an isometric perspective drawing pop. In this post I'll show you how to draw a house like the one in the picture above. In follow up posts I will bring it together with tree's, streams, cliffs, and other structures. SuppliesPencilIsometric paperSakura Pigma Micron PensWinsor and Newton ProMarkers We will need the 05 and 005 pens and Cool Grey 1-4 markers. All of these materials are available at the links above. Step 1: Pencil Outline To start draw a pencil outline of the shape, making sure to trust the isometric paper's lines. In this step you can feel free to experiment and erase as much as needed. Once you are done go ahead and erase any lines that would be covered up by other features. For example the bottom of the right most wall is partially covered by the steps. I erased this portion of that line so that I w…