So what exactly is a colophon?

An inscription at the end of a book or manuscript usually with facts about its production

– Merriam-Webster Dictionary

In the context of this website, it is the post where I outline the tools and process that I use to put the site together.

Writing: Emacs

I write everything for the site in Emacs using either Markdown or org-mode. Specifically, I use Vincent Goulet’s Emacs for Windows Modified, which provides some nice features for Windows users.

John Kitchin’s Emacs configuration also has Windows binaries included with the .dlls necessary for displaying images in Emacs. He is also an advocate for using Emacs and org-mode in reproducible research. I recommend this video for anyone interested in learning more about Emacs, org-mode, or reproducible research.

Site Generation: Hugo

I use Hugo to generate the pages on the website. Hugo is an open source, static site generator started by Steve Francia (spf13) and is written in Go. The build time for my site as of 7-14-2014 is 75 ms, for 13 pages of content and the associated supplemental pages that are generated (tags, categories, rss, etc.)

Responsive Layout: Foundation

I use Foundation from Zurb for much of the CSS styling that goes on the site. I use the SASS/SCSS variant and compile to CSS so that I can use variables to help keep the site relatively easy to maintain. Foundation with SCSS has gotten more complicated to download/use with the latest revision, so for people looking to start from scratch may want to try Bootstrap instead.


I use Google Fonts, specifically Lustria and Lato for the heading and body text of the site. For scalable icons I use Font Awesome. The syntax highlighting for code snippets is accomplished through highlight.js and uses the tomorrow style. Equation rendering is courtesy of MathJax.


I keep track of my site statistics with Google Analytics. Hosting is provided by Penn State. I manage the source code for the site with git and use Bitbucket for my primary repositories.

Mon Jul 14, 2014

400 words



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All material © 2013-2016 Brian A. Maicke unless otherwise noted.