[If you are not a programmer, this article may not interest you. Please skip and do something useful]
A personal website through which a person expresses his opinions/ideas with the world on a regular basis.
Below are the basic components of any blogging system.
I am not bothered about the awesome SEO plugins / other helpful plugins which helps in many aspects of blogging. I am concerned only about the basic blog. All I need is a simple web page to express my ideas.
Except for the comments section, rest of the blog is static. I am not bothered about the comments anyway. It takes too much of your time away from blogging. If you really need them, there are client-side commenting systems available (like Disqus, Facebook comments etc.,). So, I don’t need a server-side code which connects to a database, execute the plugins, creates the web page on the fly for every request to a web page (even with caching), when all I need is a set of a simple HTML file.
There is an argument that says, Infrastructure is cheap nowadays. The computing and storage abilities skyrocketed. We can use as much as we want. Yes. It is. But, just because I have too much fuel, I would not travel 10 miles extra to the office every day. I always prefer the shortest possible route. How about you?. And again, that’s a personal choice. I am not saying that what is being done is wrong, all I say is that I don’t need all of those.
These are the two components of any regular blogging system which I do not prefer to use. However, there are thousands of fellow bloggers who would die to use these. :)
When it comes to WYSIWYG editors, I simply hate the un-necessary markups created by the default editors or even the specialized install-able editors in the market. For example, to display an image to the left side of the HTML, this is the code created by blogger website.
where all I need is
You see the point?. Most don’t mind these additional markups. I do mind when I edit the blog posts.
Static Site Generator is a program which generates a complete HTML website as output. The input would be few configuration files, layout files, and markdown or simple HTML files. You can simply upload these HTML files to any web-server and your blog is live. whoah…
Markdown is a program or a plugin which transforms the plain text to a valid HTML / XHTML. As with any open source, there are many alternatives. I choose to use “redcarpet” since this is the default Markdown processor that comes with Jekyll. The HTML produced by Markdown is the bare minimum HTML needed to render the page effectively in any browser. You have the option of using HTML directly in the Markdown text files if you feel that is needed.
Some of the key advantages of using SSG are
and many more …
Some of the disadvantages of SSG are
I feel that the second point is what keeps me interested in migrating to SSG. If there was a very simple website which claims to do everything and anyone can create a blog with that - I would probably have not tried that option :)
Below is that technology stack that runs this blog.
I used the very basic template that comes with Jekyll. I have plans to customize it in future and also to add a custom search engine to my blog. I explored private pay-as-you-go hosting options as well. I may move my blog to private hosting sometime in future, when the blog grows big or if there are issues with GitHub hosting. But, that migration would be a breeze for me.
If this sounds too technical, you may want to try the blogger.com.
Less Distraction - I have the habit of previewing the blog every now and then and correct the look and feel as I write. This is changed. I write from VIM editor in Unix console. I prefer to keep it in full screen and viola - there are no distractions. I could concentrate only on writing. I actually felt that I write more in console than in a web page. Too early to come to a conclusion. Let’s wait till I post at least 50+ posts this way. I still have to preview and edit the blog post at the end. But that’s now a single task after I complete the writing.
Feeling EPIC - Yeah. Seriously. I fell in love with the character “Neo” in the Movie “The Matrix” when I saw it the first time (esp. the black console with green text flowing down). I even wrote matrix screensavers in C, during my college days to simulate that experience on my computer. Those good old days are back. This simple act of blogging like a programmer brought back my love for programming. Write, Edit, Commit, Push - Viola, My blog is published. It’s nostalgic. This is my console where I wrote this blog post.
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