Vince Imbat

Project log - Forest garden publishing

Sep 2, 2022


I tried making Quartz work for me. The original plan was to follow this video: I like it because it addressed privacy issues. But then, I went through all sorts of problem with implementing it. For example, I went through the trouble of setting my GOPATH, which is a basic for go programmers, but something I only learned now. Through this, I learned that the Mac terminal has different shells: bash, zshrc, and fish. Setting my GOPATH correctly relies on a knowledge of what amont these shells’ profiles must be edited. I now know the answer, and I might be able to pull Quartz off, but while looking for alternatives, I think I have found a better option, which addresses privacy (using .gitignore) plus a bigger framework of doing this.

The alternatives I tried included Obsidian Zola (because of its alleged easy process of adding a single file in the obsidian vault) and the alternatives in this article. Among these alternatives, I would have wanted to use Mathieu Dutour’s Gatsby Digital Garden. However, I went through a lot of trouble installing Gatsby and its dependencies so I gave it up.

I discovered other interesting options like, which is easy to use but doesn’t really support the complexity I need for my site. MkDocs, which was claimed to be an easy and fast option, but well, not really. Mindstone was an option, but it shows everything, impossible to support privacy, typography is bad and just looks a lot like obsidian publish, which looks bad (good idea I can’t afford it anyway).

Before walking, the last option I played with involved 11ty digital garden theme. I would have used this if not for its too poor design, and because I discovered Maggie Appleton’s wonderful github repo. I browsed the list of digital gardens there, and read one of her essays at her website about digital gardening for non-technical people.

I also encountered Sveltekit, Dendron, Innos Note, and Hyperdraft.

What really worked for me though was the Jekyll + Obsidian workflow of Hiran Venugopalan. I decided to go with this direction after watching this video and pondering about the design of Maggie’s website. In both sites, the site is the digital garden. The essays and blog posts are integrated with the notes and the notes with the essays and posts. Salman’s process of using Obsidian makes a lot of sense. If I put the site folder and the notes folder in one vault, I could easily link them to each other. This gives Obsidian a more robust function (if only it could edit gitignore and other files, it might even be my choice of editor). But now, I could write my notes there and my essays at the same time.


Tried deploying jekyll blog on cloudflare. It worked. But then I realized how limited its functionalities are so I committed to using quartz.








I continued processing my Obsidian notes’s front matter.


Continued processing some more notes.