Platform

This website is statically generated using Hugo, a Go-powered site generator that cleanly separates format from content, using Hugo’s excellent templating system. Static sites offer superior security compared to a typical CMS-hosted site because the contents are served as simple, inert, portable, pre-generated HTML, CSS and JavaScript. As a result, servers are not needed, and any cloud caching service can host the content. Repelling the wily hacker is a side benefit. GitHub Pages hosts these pages as a serverless website. GitHub Actions regenerates and deploys the entire Markerbench site automatically when a new build is pushed to the Markerbench GitHub repository, generally in two minutes or less.

Theme

The website theme is Andrew’s forked and expanded version of the Mediumish Hugo theme, which itself is a port of the Bootstrapped Mediumish Jekyll theme by WowThemes.Net—all of which prompts Pablo Picasso’s observation that “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Whether this website qualifies as great art, or something less than that, is an exercise left to the reader.

Images

Speaking of art, Microsoft’s “AI”-powered Bing Image Creator generated the images on the homepage hero carousel from the following prompts:

  • “In an impressionist style, I would like to see a zen pond with smooth, glasslike water but with a few small ripples.”
  • “In an impressionist style, I would like to see a happy boardroom meeting with laughter and some champagne.”
  • “I want to see, in an impressionist style, a picture of steel being cast in a steel mill, with a dark background and bright orange molten steel being cast.”
  • “I want to see a picture painted in an impressionist style of the earth on a white background, being lifted up by a woman on a gigantic seesaw, with the earth on the high side.”

Creating stock images using prompts is great fun, but some of the early drafts—notably, the seesaw image—were not suitable for publication. When asked to generate an image of an “athletic” woman moving the Earth, Bing rendered a Skims-thonged Kardashian. Go figure.

Typesetting

The Markerbench website is set in EB Garamond, an Open-Font-Licensed typeface by Georg Mayr-Duffner and Octavio Pardo. EB Garamond is a tasteful and high-quality interpretation of Claude Garamond’s famous Garamond old-style typeface from a specimen created in 1592, with italics following Robert Granjon’s designs. EB Garamond compares favorably with Adobe’s superb Adobe Garamond Pro, designed by Robert Slimbach, but at a much lower cost—free!—and with the benefit of Google’s font hosting service.