The Meta Letter (Archive)

A now defunct newsletter from Kev Quirk

Meta Letter 04 – Simplicity Vs Complexity

📅 21 Sep 2020

Welcome back to another edition of Craving Coffee. I can’t believe it’s been another month, but here we are. In this post I want to talk about website simplicity vs complexity, especially when it comes to static sites vs content management systems (CMS), like WordPress.

There’s been a bit of kerfuffle recently between the WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, and the Jamstack community (Jamstack is a term given to static site generators). The TL;DR of the whole thing is that Matt thinks SSGs will never gain mass appeal because of their complicated nature.

I have to say, I think I agree.

I wrote a post about revisiting static site generators where I talk about my other blog, Dad’s Notebook. I’ve been using the Jekyll SSG for that site and for the most part it’s been a fun project. However, that’s a REALLY simple site.

When you start adding other stuff, like newsletters, comment systems and IndieWeb support etc. the whole Jamstack becomes ridiculously difficult to manage.

After publishing my thoughts on the WordPress/Jamstack kafuffle I got some feedback about how SSGs can use a content management system too. While I agree with this, there’s a technical barrier for entry where setting up such a platform is extremely difficult.

Plus, static site CMS tools only allow for adding/editing content, I believe. They don’t allow the user to add features. So WordPress, in the long run, is actually the much simpler solution (in my opinion). What do you think? Reply to this email and let me know.

I won’t waffle anymore on this one, as I’d just be repeating what’s including in the various links above, but what I will say is that I’ve since migrated Dad’s Notebook from Jekyll to WordPress, purely so I can start adding some of the additional features I mention above.

What else have I been up to?

Well, not a lot really. I’ve managed to write a few new posts this month:

I’ve also found the time to watch some really interesting TV shows on Netflix.

The Social Dilemma is very good and really makes you think about your exposure online. What I really liked was the way they didn’t really focus on privacy, as most people don’t really care about that. Definitely a good one to watch if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m seriously considering deleting my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts after watching this, so I only have Mastodon left.

The Fall is a story about a serial killer in Northern Ireland. It stars the dude from 50 Shades, Jamie Dornan I think his name is, and Jillian Anderson of X-Files fame. It’s superbly written and has an utterly gripping story. Again, well worth a watch.

Criminal: UK – My wife and I are still watching this, but I believe there are versions of Criminal from all over the globe. The whole thing takes place in a Police interview room and it explores the psychology and techniques that Police use to get the answers they need during an interview. There’s also a healthy amount of dark humour thrown in, which I really appreciated.

Blog of the month

I thought I’d add this to my monthly newsletter, just to give exposure to another blog. They’re always going to personal blog that I enjoy reading. They’re likely going to be tech focussed, but could be about anything to be honest.

This month I’m going to recommend that you check out Jan-Lukas Else’s blog. It’s one of my favourites blogs. I like how he tends to keep his posts short and to the point, just adding his own succinct POV where he feels necessary. But I also like that he follows a lot of other blogs, and through this I’ve managed to find a tonne of other really interesting blogs.

Visit Jan’s blog –

Wrapping up for September

Ok, I’ve definitely waffled on enough for this month; I really hope you guys are enjoying my monthly waffle. If you have any feedback on what I can improve on, or what I can add to make this newsletter more interesting for you, please reply to this email. Honestly, I’d love to hear your feedback – good or bad.

Until next time folks. Kev, out.