I’m Rachael Ludwick. I currently live in Seattle, Washington, USA with my partner, baby and cats. I work at Glowforge as as software developer. We’re making an awesome product involving LASERS and you should check it out. But, disclaimer: this is a personal web site and nothing here or elsewhere on the web represents my employer.
I am disabling comments on newer posts. Older threads close after 30 days. Mostly I’m done with comments on my own website. But if you’re interested in my general approach to comments on a personal website, see how John Scalzi moderates his blog. If you want to know my opinion about comments on news, etc. websites, see Comments suck right? So why do you have them?.
Long, Boring Technical Details
Long ago, in college, when I was learning HTML and CSS (back when you were somehow a magical elf-creature if you could learn that stuff — and CSS was pretty new and browser support awful), I had a webpage on the college servers. I wanted it to be awesome with CSS-layout-goodness. It turned out I had to go with tables anyway, but I wanted to use the same styles and arrangements on each page. But because I had to go with tables, whenever I wanted to tweak the layout I had to edit a lot of files (well less than ten given the size of my site, but still frustrating). I sadly never really learned CSS very well until recently.
Since that time I’ve had little interest in maintaining a website, because it seemed inevitably to require administering and maintaining server hardware. I write software for server-side applications and frankly hate having to screw with operating systems and network settings and all that crap. But recently (late 2011), I became aware that you can build a (mostly static) website using nothing but Amazon S3. See Jeff Barr’s post on the subject. Then I learned about Octopress which lets you statically generate a full site (blog-oriented) from Markdown formatted text files. Markdown looks (to my eyes) like simple wiki syntax. Thus, I realized I could have a website where I tweak layout and style in files that are shared by all content pages. Oh, and not have to run a server myself. (Note: I’ve since moved off of octopress onto jekyll by itself because I realized I’d spent too much time debugging octopress stuff and its interactions with jekyll.)
Even more awesome, I’ve since figured out that using jgit I am able to push my git repository to a (separate) S3 bucket and thus any client machine that I install the octopress stack to can be used to edit or create posts on. And even more awesome, cheap micro instanes of EC2 machines can be configured and then, since they are backed in EBS, can be stopped until needed. I swear I’m not trying to advertise: I’m just really, really impressed with how far computing has come since I was in school.