Turning 38 today; Going Static

I am turning 38 years old today. I am on my way to Belgium for the funeral of my grandmother. My family, Marta and Tomas, are at home.

I am in Bielefeld, on top of the hill. This is our usual stop from Berlin to Belgium: it’s practically in the middle.

I am sitting at the bar, and I have just finished a great project I have been working for a few months: revamp my homepage and blog, once again.

I tried a few things getting away from (the great) Wordpress. I was trying to make my own again, doing it with Django or Flask, I am a Python guy after all. I tried to do something with my OwnCloud setup, with files, but that was so 1990s, writing HTML.

Giving up, I did a search for “generate static website” and I pretty much hit the first link: “Jekyll”. It is written in Ruby, so I am naturally disliking it, but that doesn’t mean I have to ignore it. I tried it more.. and behold!

It went pretty fast, setting up Jekyll and getting it going. There were, whoever, some additional things I had todo:

  • I wrote a few Python scripts to clean up my old LiveJournal/Blogger/Wordpress posts. It is now all YAML/Markdown.
  • Page IDs are added and checked for uniqueness, for example, to make sure Disqus works OK.
  • There was the issue that my old links wouldn’t work, so I made a Jekyll plug-in to generate redirect rules from a special YAML tag. I learned YAML.. oh dear..
  • Old comments are showing. I did not move them to Disqus since they were entered on my Wordpress installation, not on Disqus.
  • Jekyll’s default theme is quite good, but I changed a few things to look more ‘mine’.

To put my homepage live, I do:

$ git push deploy master

Site is generated, Nginx restarted, et voila. No more databases, no more PHP, no more web security issues. Plain HTML (and Javascript).

Still few issues, but it’s workable. RSS feed will be not working probably, and I need a tag cloud. Old links should redirect though, and I think that’s important.