CosmoCatalano.com 4.0

by Cosmo Catalano

If Internet Archive is to be believed, today I rolled out the fourth iteration of my personal website. It’s an updated digital resume that invites the user to poke into the code and responsive layout as much as the content. It’s built to be bold and bright and playful—an updated demonstration of my skillset that’s well-written and entertaining, both inside and out.

The previous version, from mid-2012, served its task well and I am sad to see it go. Built as the sun was setting on the Golden Age of Open APIs, this just-retired CosmoCatalano.com was proof that I could code—PHP scripts self-populated the site with regularly-updated content from web services I use nearly daily, like Strava, Twitter, and Instagram.

But as companies began to lock down, and RSS was supplanted by the timeline, its Jenga-towered screen-scrape kludges became harder to maintain. The site also hid my meatiest programming from the user—an at least reasonably elegant system of caching and and includes kept site load snappy and hosting load down, but as server-side code, no one could see it.

The front-end code that the user could see—a clever, tag-driven filtering system for my wide-ranging work experience—didn’t look particularly tidy in dev tools, and also may have presented my abilities too broadly. So in addition to being much cleaner from a code POV, this version is much more closely focused on my dev skillset.

To that end, the new site is also W3C-valid HTML 5, fully responsive and mobile-first, extremely accessible, and rolls in a host of cute functionality tricks to keep the code semantic and SEO-friendly, while accommodating a unique, even idiosyncratic layout between breakpoints. There’s also an inside internet joke or two, to be explained in forthcoming blog posts.

While I could (and almost certainly will) keep tweaking, it’s just time to get this beast out there. Let me know what you think and what errors you encounter, and If I’m ever at a point where I’m happy with it, a github repo won’t be far behind.