Dave is here!

Dave

I'm Dave, one of the founders of the Recurse Center.

Hello, World!

January 31, 2009

It’s been well over a year since I decided that I should have a blog. There are a whole bunch of really good reasons to blog, or to write in any medium for that matter. Writing forces you to make your thoughts concrete. It forces you to think clearly. A lot of my ideas are murky and not fleshed out. Writing insures that at least some of them will get there. Nick once sent me Steve Yegge’s essay You Should Write Blogs. It is a wonderful read and it articulates in great detail the benefits of blogging. I highly recommend it.

So Why Haven’t I Blogged?

I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve installed WordPress with the intent of blogging. I even have a blog that I share with my cousin called Appendix A. I have only written there once. That was well over two years ago.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never succeeded at blogging because I’ve never felt that I owned my blog. Every time I install WordPress, I go trolling the internet for a theme. I’ve never felt comfortable with the default WordPress theme. It makes me feel like I really have “Just another WordPress weblog.” Perhaps it’s egotistical to say so, but I’ve always felt that whatever I write deserves its own presentation, different from everyone else’s. Suffice to say, I never found a theme that satisfied me. I’ve sometimes entertained the idea of using the default theme until I create something of my own and just start writing, but I’ve never been able to follow through with it. I’m a bit stubborn.

Release Early, Release Often

About two weeks ago, I got fed up with all my talk of blogging and decided to just do it. If I can’t seem to write without a theme of my own, it was time to hunker down and create one. So I did. It’s not done - the “about” and “archive” links do nothing yet - and probably never will be. I’m quite happy with that. Design is an iterative process and I think it’s a bit conceited to think that I’d ever be able to perfect a design (whatever that means).

Notes On The Design

The design is a bit sparse right now. Perhaps I’ll add some pictures later. Dave Is Blogging is typeset in Georgia, which is one of my favorite typefaces for the web. It is a serif font that does not feel old fashioned, it’s easy to read on a screen, it’s ubiquitous, and it is the only one of Microsoft’s core fonts that has text figures rather than lining figures. Georgia and the rest of the core fonts are installed by default on Windows and Mac OS. If you run Linux, this blog will look best once you’ve installed the core fonts, which are packaged but not installed by default on most distros.

Acknowledgements

Nothing is created in a vacuum. I took my cues from many different people in designing this site. [The Elements of Typographic Style][7], by Robert Bringhurst is a great introduction to typography. The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web builds on Bringhurst’s book and is a good read for anyone doing typography with css. [Don’t Make Me Think][9], by Steve Krug is a great book about usability and web design. Other valuable insights came from A List Apart, Usability Post, I Love Typography, and Nick’s Blog. Thanks guys.

Where Do I Go From Here?

For starters, I’m going to keep blogging. It won’t be that often (I’m aiming for a minimum of once a month), but it will be regular. I’m going to try to write about interesting things like programming, music, engineering and design, however this list is far from inclusive. Due to my expected infrequency of posting, I’d recommend subscribing to this blog in your feed reader of choice. A link to the rss feed is located in the footer. I hope you enjoy. Oh yeah, please send me feedback!

[7]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881792063?ie=UTF8&tag=daveis-20&link Code=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0881792063

[9]: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321344758?ie=UTF8&tag=daveis-20&link Code=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0321344758

*[css]: Cascading Style Sheets

*[rss]: Really Simple Syndication