Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
Home » Meta information | About me Impressum Contact Sitemap

A brief history of my homepage

The below history has typically been written and added to after the fact, and may contain inaccuracies in detail.

Neolithic times

I first came into contact with the Internet during my first year at KTH, and put up my first homepage a month-or-so later. Like almost all other homepages at the time, it contained nothing worth reading.

(Thinking back is interesting: This was at a time when Mosaic was outbattling Lynx, Netscape was not yet (?) on the market, and Microsoft still thought of the Internet as a joke...—Tempus fugit. In fact, I have troubles wrapping my mind around the fact that almost fifteen years have passed between that first marvelous year in college and the time of writing.)

At some point, I took it down again—realizing that it brought no value. For the same reason, I chose to remain without a homepage for a long time.

March 2009

Eventually the number of things I had to say (many of which I hope that at least a few other people will find interesting) had mounted up. In March 2009 I finally got around to set up my second homepage—which you are presumably browsing right now.

The initial site was just a place holder, which after a week or two was replaced with a small number of HTML pages generated from a basic template language by a shell script. Some of the pages added during April, including this one (in its original version), were not of the best quality or highest importance, because I wanted to get a bit of mass fast. (Later texts were usually better; some of the older have, just like this page, been reworked.)

The first version of this page pertinently stated:

In the future, this site will expand noticeably—at the last count I had eight notebooks with notes and writings of various kinds, a number of texts lying around on my computer, and a seemingly never ending stream of ideas on various topics. Even with the throwing out of duplicates, poor ideas, and substandard writing, the eventual site will be very large. The judgment whether it is also worth reading, I have to leave to the reader...

April 2009

During April the site saw rapid growth, and my original (temporary) solution of having links to all individual pages in the navigational side-bar grow untenable—even with the use of categories. A few brief experiments with CSS respectively frame-based solutions (to extend the life of the “all inclusive” side-bar) were soon abandoned: Not only did I consider them too user-unfriendly; but it was clear that they could provide no more than a temporary solution, before the growth of the site caused new problems.

At some point the sitemap was added.

May 2009

I eventually re-wrote the navigational structure to its current (2009-07-12) form, with each page listing the pages and sub-categories of only its own category. A page-internal table of contents was also added at some point.

Rapid growth continued.

June–Juli 2009

In an earlier version of this page, I wrote:

The above [referencing the previous quote] was written on 2009-03-24, at which time only a handful of pages were available online. Currently, 2009-06-06, there are more than ninety—most of which are new contents. Considering the comparatively low rate of integration of old content and the comparatively high rate of new, the long-term size, say five years from now, may well be over a thousand pages. Then again, I may hit two hundred and lose interest, or otherwise be hindered. Time will tell...

As of 2009-07-30, the growth has slowed down somewhat, with a total of 119 pages (not counting the automatically generated). For those interested in obscure trivia, other counts are (roughly) 145 thousand words and 920 thousand characters. Notably, however, the contents have grown more than the page count would imply, because many older pages have been extended or partially re-written over time—and the average new page is likely somewhat longer than originally. This does point to a possible interesting future development: The relative amount of time spent on improving existing pages in various ways may grow significantly larger that the time spent on adding new pages.

July is otherwise notable for the first major layout overhaul (minor tweaks had happened every now and then), where I threw out the almost-original blueish color scheme for beige one that I found both easier on the eye and more aesthetically pleasing. (The very first place-holder version had had a grayish scheme, just thrown on to avoid an impression of too much brightness from an all-white background, which I got rid of with the first real contents.) A number of other, if less obvious, improvements took place to incorporate impressions that I had gathered from other sites in the intervening months.

In addition, changes in the underlying generation were made, including moving to use the Unix tool make, improving the strictness of the generated HTML (verifying with more and stricter tools than previously), adding a sitemap file for robots (not to be confused with the ordinary sitemap), and adding minor internationalization to avoid some odd-looking occurrences of automatically generated English text in the few German pages.

Pleasantly, the first few visitors coming from search engines (as opposed to e.g. my blog) started to drop in.

August–December 2009

The rest of the year saw noticeably less growth, starting with the fact that I “lost the rythm” when my computer broke, and I decided to set up a new system from scratch with a well thought-through structure, good version control, etc. Wast amounts of time was wasted on various no-brain civil servants, red tape, and similar (the details of which I will leave unstated for the time being). Further, my spare-time interests drifted more towards reading and studying, rather than writing.

Looking at the character of my writing, relatively more time was spent extending existing documents, and the new documents written were, on average, noticeably larger than earlier. (My writings on feminism being an extreme example.)


The mentioned writings on feminism were, at the time of writing, a single page, which was later split up into its own category.

At the time of writing (2010-01-12), the “trivia numbers” are 148 pages, roughly 232 thousand words, and 1.48 million characters.


The first few months were business as usual. However, in March and April, I spent much more time on WordPress than here; in particular, reading and commenting on the blogs of others.

April saw the first major overhaul of the page generation since the preceding summer.