Both from personal experience and from having read all sorts of blogs, I learned that the secret to not having to give excuses for updating a blog in a very infrequent and irregular fashion is to completely ignore the fact that it has been more than a year since the last post (I would say this is an autological self-reference, but that would be paradoxically contradictory).
The big news this time is that from now on, the new home for this blog is:
Posts will be published there exclusively, although the old website will remain where it is (until Google decides to kill Blogspot; given its record, that should be any day now). If you follow it using RSS, please update your client to use the new URL.
There you will find all previous posts, converted from an XML export after a day of furious text editing (made exponentially easier by the best text editor in the world). I resisted as much as I could the urge to edit the posts and instead made only minimal spelling corrections.
You will also find there all of my other insane endeavours. For example: last year, I added another blog I used to have where my teenage self reviewed — and shared in a not-quite-legal manner — music albums. I wasted the chance to make my yearly blog post, so consider this also an announcement for it.
And did you know all source code is available under a free software license? Yes! Run and get it before more people find out about it.
So why did I decide to make this change?
It is no secret that I have, for a long time now, tried to stay away as much as possible from the so-called technological giants. The reasons were always difficult to explain to people outside of the IT industry, for whom concepts such as free (i.e. libre) software, or even software in any but the most superficial levels, are difficult to grasp.
Thankfully, over the past years, Google, Facebook, and friends have made that much easier. Ever since the Snowden leaks, we have been shown time and time again how our dystopian fears were, if anything, an underestimation. And things have taken a darker turn recently with these companies taking increasingly political and aggressive actions in our time of political and moral confusion.
To counteract that, I have always opted to use open and free technologies. Some examples:
I choose to use free or open-source software first and resort to closed-source only if it cannot in way be avoided (and, in my experience, it can in virtually all cases).
And this brings us back to my blog now being under my personal website and not hosted in a service owned by Google anymore. It is now just a bunch of static HTML files served by my webserver. Youtube embedded videos have also been converted to simple links.
Having finally moved away from Blogspot, there are now only two more items on my list of SaaS(S)es to get rid of.
The first is Gmail, which I have used almost since I started using e-mail. Hosting one's own e-mail server is not easy, so I do not expect this to change anytime soon. And, with the unfortunate demise of e-mail after social media started dominating the internet, giving Google access to my e-mail bothers me less and less.
The final one is the more complicated and the more mysterious: Youtube. From talks to musical or otherwise instructional videos to podcasts, I consume videos at an almost fanatical and certainly unhealthy rate, and a big portion of them are on Google's platform. I don't see it loosing its dominance in the near future (although PeerTube in on my list of things to try), but hopefully its recent censorship scandals will accelerate that.
And finally: are you really a blogger if you don't say "I want to start posting here more frequently"? It is in no way an excuse, but the fact that this blog was hosted on Blogspot did have an effect on my willingness to write. That meant I missed opportunities to talk about some of the interesting things I have been working on, and I want to correct that.
As always, thanks for reading.