Declarative Amsterdam

About this site

General design by Pieter Lamers; logo by Nico Verwer

The font

Pieter: I found the font, Iosevka, when googling for declarative programming techniques. It caters for subtle variants and covers a wide range of characters, including IPA and non-Western scripts, and it is open-source. Using it for plain text gives the site a bit of a retro look. Here is a nice display of some of the options that the font offers:

The logo

Nico: The logo is a concoction of the JSON infinite loop logo, braces and angle brackets, all signifying data structures, and the three vertical crosses from the Flag of Amsterdam. But everybody saw this, right?

The design

Pieter: With the not so sleek font I felt that a bold, un-subtle (so to say), design would be better than the usual super light and thin look that most sites have these days. I've inspired the look on the abstract works by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (Mondriaan in Dutch) who specialized in shapes and lines, restricting himself mostly to red, yellow, black and blue. But at some point I started adding in more colors, so he would probably turn in his grave if he knew he was being associated with this. The sequence of red, white and blue on the home page mimicks the Dutch flag.

The application backend

Pieter: The site runs on an eXist-db instance, hosted by my employer John Benjamins Publishing. Besides from the obvious HMTL, CSS and a little bit of Javascript, the site uses a framework I created with XQuery, XForms, and XSLT as its building blocks, including some precompiled Saxon-JS IXSL. Data is stored in MySQL.