Now Powerd By Jekyll

February 25, 2011

I know I promised more blogging. I know it’s been weeks. I have been working on my blog, just behind the scenes.

I decided that if I was going to start blogging seriously, I did not want to be doing it in a web form. I’ve been using WordPress for a long time now, and the biggest thing that has always bugged me were my options for actually typing in my blog posts. Web forms suck for writing. I’d rather use Emacs.

Now, I realize there’s ways to use Emacs to post to WordPress. I’m not interested. The second thing that bugged me about my old setup is the database. This is a blog. Except for comments and track-backs, it is essentially static content. There is no reason to bring a database into this transaction.

So, I started considering doing something simple that would generate my content statically. I could store it in a Git repository and push it up to my server. That’s when I remembered Jekyll. It was pretty much exactly what I wanted, and it’s written in Ruby, so I’ll be comfortable hacking on it when the need arises.

The trouble was that Jekyll doesn’t have a lot of built-in generation options. It will generate a page for each post, and it will run any extra files through its template expansion, but for things like archive pages some extra code is needed. But, Jekyll provides a plugin mechanism that is more than adequate to allow for extension.

As part of this migration, I’ve decided to remove the commenting and track-backing functionality from my blog. Experience has shown that I don’t really get much in the way of comments, and I believe there are better ways to facilitate discussion. If, later, I feel that I should have comments, I’ll probably use Disqus.

I also made a little tweak so that only new posts should show up in the RSS feed. Since my scheme for determining GUIDs is new, I didn’t want to spam people with a bunch of posts that are quite old. Also quite easy with Jekyll.

Ultimately, I’m quite happy with my new blog setup. It will help me blog more frequently.

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