Hello Everyone!

#blog

Hi! If you’re reading this, it means I’ve finally decided to upload my blog, and this is my first post.

Me

If you don’t know me (how did you get here?!) I’m Najib Idrissi, a doctoral student in math at Université Lille 1. You can also read the about page.

I’ve decided to create this blog because… well, everybody is doing it. More seriously, I wanted to share stuff about mathematics that I couldn’t necessarily share through other means (e.g. math.SE). I also wanted to have a website which wasn’t hosted by my university (I have a webpage hosted by my lab [Update 2019: link is dead]) to have a bit more freedom. Plus, creating the website was an interesting challenge.

Technical stuff

As you may have noted from the URL, this website is hosted by GitHub, using their GitHub pages. I didn’t want this website to be too much of a hassle to make, and I already use Git for all my writing anyway, so this seemed to be one of the best ways. Making changes is as easy as git commit -am '...' && git push (I actually use Magit for Emacs, so it looks more like c -a c ‘…’ C-c C-c P P), and I can easily access everything from anywhere.

GitHub Pages uses Jekyll to generate the website, a tool written in Ruby to produce static websites. No pesky databases needed! It also easily allows one to structure the website coherently – those of you who are interested can check out my GitHub repository to see how it works. Once everything is set up correctly, writing a post is as easy as creating a new file in the _posts directory and starting to write. Posts themselves are formatted with Kramdown for maximum ease – here’s what this paragraph actually looks like from my end:

GitHub Pages uses [Jekyll](https://jekyllrb.com/) to generate the website, a tool written in Ruby to produce static websites. No pesky databases needed! It also easily allows one to structure the website coherently -- those of you who are interested can check out my [GitHub repository](https://github.com/nidrissi/nidrissi.github.io) to see how it works. Once everything is set up correctly, writing a post is as easy as creating a new file in the `_posts` directory and starting to write. Posts themselves are formatted with [Kramdown](http://kramdown.gettalong.org/) for maximum ease -- here's what this paragraph actually looks like from my end:

The design itself is done with the Bootstrap framework (which uses jQuery underneath). It makes it very easy to create navigation bars (at the top), fixed sidebars (on the right), etc. I settled on Font Awesome for the icons. Again, check out the GitHub repository to see how it works. I also set up MathJax to produce math formulas:

$$1+1=2.$$

The lack of database came at a cost though: I couldn’t host comments myself. I decided to use Disqus, which is apparently very popular. I wish I had found something a bit less intrusive though. Note: you can comment as a guest! It’s not very intuitive, but start filling out “Sign up with disqus” and then choose “I’d rather post as a guest”.

What I plan to do

As I said, this blog will probably be mostly about math. I don’t have a fixed schedule – hopefully there will at least be a new post once a month? We’ll see. I think my first actual post will be about the Eckmann–Hilton argument (about which I wrote a math.SE answer), so stay tuned!

If you have any comments about all this (the design of the site, the planned content…), don’t hesitate to tell me.