Welcome Astro, goodbye Wordpress!

Time flies they say. And so it does! I’ve had this site for over 12 years by now, and even before that I spent time doing stuff with The Settlers II. And here we are, with a refreshed look using a new site building tool, Astro! It lets me build a mostly static website using whatever frontend tooling I want.

Ten years ago I switched many of my sites to Wordpress in hope that it would let me provide more content. In hindsight it seems it did the opposite: I lost some of my interest working on my sites. Wordpress never felt good to use for me and using it feels a bit like fighting against things. It just doesn’t work for me as a tool. I am more of a programmer type of person so I like to have control over things.

So now I have Astro here. I love it! It is very much a delight after so many years of tools that force bundling big JavaScript on all pages, even static ones that don’t need JS at all. Astro provides snappy and lightweight by default while also providing developer conveniences that have emerged during the past few years. This flexibility made it easy for me to convert the Map Generator project from being a legacy React project into a Preact one, with TypeScript goodness (which fits with a complex map generator type of project; I’m not always pro-TypeScript).

With this renewed site I have worked on rearranging content as well as adding some new stuff. And I’ve also done some little work with the map generator so it has a few new tricks. But admittedly it is still a bit of a mess: UI isn’t fully intuitive yet, I could provide more options to internal features of the generator, and the generator code itself is in a big need of cleaning up to better coding style.

The site UI is also still in need of some polish. The main menu doesn’t work in mobile, at least in iOS. That is sad. But I think right now it is much more important just to get the new site released, because it always motivates a bit better when something is out in the wild.

New Map Generator features

  • You can use a seed value: given seed provides always the same results with the given input values.
  • There can now be snow peak mountains
  • You can find some small swamp areas on the map
  • Palm trees have been allowed to be generated in coasts