Blogging like a H4x0r
Apologies to those visiting my site recently because:
- It hasn’t been updated recently
- I have been changing hosts with it
Let me explain both of these! I have been searching for a good blogging engine ever since I have started blogging. I have yet to find the perfect one :) Some have come close in completeness (WordPress) or price and ease of use (blogger), but none has been all-encompassing. I messed around with a blogging engine called Jekyll about a year and a half ago, but I never ended up deploying it. I had my website most recently on Google Sites, and the ease of use was pretty good, but themes-wise it was pretty frustrating, also they force an ugly footer on all pages, yuck.
There are a few reasons I have made the switch to Jekyll, mainly because I have got the ultimate cool factor in the setup of all this. I write all of my posts in plaintext, like Notepad (for reference for Windows users out there). This means in 100 years time they’ll still be readable (if anyone so wishes to read them). I’ve seen enough computer formats to know each one of them suck in some way. Plain text just sucks that little bit less because it’s been around since the dawn of computer time (bar weird encoding, which is sorted now I hope with UTF standard). It also simplifies my switch away from Jekyll, which I have learned is the most important feature of any blogging platform. Jekyll takes this text, combines it with some nice visual cruft you see all around the text and makes it nicely readable. As it transfers it in to folders as html, any web server software can serve this website. Making it plain html also makes it lightning fast to load (since there is no PHP or other dynamic languages being used).
So at this point your saying - okay? so what? Well the cool part is I use Git to save all my hard work, making undo actions to this website (I would say mistakes, but I don’t make any :) ) extremely easy and fast! Also is the coolness of Dropbox, my whole generated Jekyll site is synced to my server to be displayed here as it’s finished. So it’s very, very fast in almost every respect and it’s backed up like crazy and I use my favourite text editor (in a terminal shell if I need) to edit all this loveliness. I was partly inspired to do all of this by this blog post, which I’d seen back in 2009 when I was researching Jekyll. Although the work in this system is in the setup, it is super easy to use once set up. I can even create posts on my iPhone, using the many apps which hook in to Dropbox to edit files stored there. If you ever wanted to know, that’s blogging like a h4x0r!