Small Progress

Originally Posted 12-30-2011

Well, I have lots of small items on my to-do list, and not many of them are getting the strikethrough treatment.

But I did manage to update my professional web page. I first made this version in the early fall as a way of productively procrastinating before fall term began. I decided to try something new, so the page is made with the Sphinx utility for writing software documentation. Sphinx was made to do the documentation for Python, and is also used by the Sage Mathematical Software project.

It seemed like a fun experiment. The thing is, the whole operation requires using reStructuredText files as input. I had to learn a new markup language. So, yesterday’s “tweaks’’ to the ol’ web page took a bit of time, as I had to reacquaint myself with some reST syntax. The biggest hurdle is that reST doesn’t pass through html tags to the browser—everything has to be done in a proper markup. The most challenging bit was making a Google+ profile button. You can easily get the code for such a button from a quick Google search, and it comes as an html anchor/image combination. I had to rip it apart and retool it into reST structure to make it work.

Incidentally, this is one of the things I like about using Markdown for this blog. I know a little basic html, and Markdown just passes that stuff along. So, I can put the same button here without any effort at all.