August Update

by Seungjae Ryan Lee

During the past few weeks, the website went through major changes in both the style and the content. In this post, we want to share the details and the rationales behind the changes.

Improved Style

The website is created using Jekyll and is hosted on GitHub Pages. The previous theme was inspired by the Google Developers website. This website incorporated Material Design that offered intuitive yet pleasing pages. Specifically, we used Material Design Lite, a front-end template that simplifies the process of using Material Design, using the jekyll-mdl theme.

Material Design Lite
A sample showcasing Material Design Lite

We found over the years that Material Design Lite was well-suited for creating beautiful front pages with card-based layouts, but came short when the main content of the page was text. To improve readability, we have experimented with various styles and found some success, but the website soon became very tedious to manage.

Front Page of the old
Front Page of the old

As a result, we started looking for alternative styles that better fit our use case. For machine learning bloggers, Medium has been a popular choice, as it offers an excellent reading experience.

Front Page of Medium
Front Page of Medium

Unfortunately, Medium was too restrictive for both the authors and the readers. With Medium, we cannot add custom JavaScript code to improve the user experience. Furthermore, Medium does not even support custom domains. On the readers’ side, Medium restricted the number of free reads per month, which went directly against the core value of Therefore, despite its excellent style, we did not consider Medium as a viable alternative.

Medium Free Limit
This was not the experience we wanted to provide.

Fortunately, while searching for alternatives, we found a mediumish: a Jekyll theme that emulated Medium’s style. With this theme, we could enjoy the visual attractiveness of Medium-style posts while not being hindered by Medium’s restrictions. Furthermore, the transition plan from the Material Design Lite theme was straightforward, since both were Jekyll themes.

Front Page of the new
Front Page of the new

Upcoming Content: Tutorials

Content-wise, we also have exciting things planned. Previously, blog posts on have been largely focused on technologies directly related to machine learning. These long posts were written to summarize or clarify complex machine learning concepts and were therefore not geared towards beginners.

Recently, we began writing more beginner-friendly blog posts to share information that may benefit those that are new to the field. However, this resulted in a confusing situation, since the introductory posts and posts that assumed prior knowledge were listed in the same place.

To solve this problem, we will now have a Tutorials category for posts. Posts with this category will be written assuming minimal prior knowledge and will be gathered in a separate page. On the front page, the usual posts that go deeper into detail will be shown. By creating this separation, we hope that it will minimize the reader’s confusion.

Finally, we plan to write more tutorial posts on topics that are not directly related to machine learning. Machine learning benefits from a solid background in science and engineering. These upcoming posts on writing clean code and managing experiments will help those interested in machine learning just as much as other more machine-learning related posts.

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