Victor's Weblog

Hi! I'm Victor Vasiliev. I study math and computer science at MIT, and spend my spare time writing open source software and playing video games. I also used to be active as MediaWiki developer.

GitHub: vasilvv
Twitter: @vasilvv_
Email: vasilvv@mit.edu

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Prologue

I finally decided to start writing a blog.

I've wanted to do that for quite a while; the issue was that I could not find a platform I liked. WordPress seemed like an overkill, many of more minimalist solutions were written in Ruby, which I can't speak... In short, I ended up writing my own blogging engine using Flask.

I am baffled by how well-developed web frameworks for Python are these days. You see, even though I've spent quite a while improving various parts of MediaWiki (which is decidedly a webapp), I've never actually worked with any real web frameworks, even for PHP. MediaWiki was written in vanilla PHP, back when it was an actual improvement over Perl. Over time it grew its very own supporting framework-library; it includes some quite crazy features, like a reverse-engineered IE6 content sniffer and a Lua sandbox. At the same time it is missing some things which you would normally consider vital, like an HTML templating system. So when I discovered that I made a blog in just 300 lines of code, only ~100 of which were Python, I was very confused and tried hard to figure out which important part I am missing.

Most of the time I spent on this was debugging CSS to make sure that website is responsive and works well on some reasonable subset of browsers. I still have a feeling that I actually have no idea how CSS works (that is apparently a somewhat widespread sentiment), so if you find that something is broken for a browser/screen size combination you use, please tell me.