Nathan Knowler

Building for the Me That I Don’t Know Yet


I have a lofty goal of creating my own CMS for this website. I also have a lofty goal of doing so in a way that is as accessible and performant as possible.

At the end of the day, it’s just me using this thing, so why does it matter that I build this according to such a high standard? I don’t need assistive technology to use the web. I am also privileged with fast Internet and usage limits that I generally don’t exceed. I could do so much more and so much faster if I just built for myself and my own needs today.

But who I am today is not promised for tomorrow. I don’t know who I am tomorrow. I don’t want what I build to be bound to who I am today. My life could radically change between today and tomorrow.

I hope the me of tomorrow whether that be (literally) the day after today or decades from now appreciates how I chose to build today. That is why I strive for such high ideals.

A little backstory behind these musings: I recently built a CLI for publishing and updating posts on this website. It’s very geared towards my current workflow and what I currently like to use. Right now, I’m quite at home in the terminal and I love using Neovim for writing and editing text. This tool is quite effective and it made me question my whole endeavour of building a CMS especially one with such high standards.

I’ve had enough times in my life that have completely altered how I did things—if not forever, then just for a season. There were things that I left behind as they could no longer serve me where I found myself. Some of those things were great things.

I don’t want that to be the case for this website. The beauty of the web is that it isn’t static. It’s flexible and it adapts to whatever situation it finds itself in. I love this about it and I want to tap into that for this website. Embracing this is how I build for myself tomorrow: the me that I don’t know (yet).