October 30, 2013

Mucking about with this site

It’s been a while since this site got some love. I was waiting for a new version of Octopress but impatience got the better of me. I looked around for something really simple, and a few things caught my eye. bashblog appealed for its ultimate simplicity, offering everything in 700 lines of a bash script. It reminded me of the system that W. Caleb McDaniel is using. I felt that I would struggle with the styling of the site, however, so I suppose you could say the designer in me won out.

fugitive very nearly swayed me. I think it has the potential to become a serious “platform” for the young and restless. It’s uses git for everything with each commit becoming a post. Styling would have been easier too, but I could not get it to run on OSX. I did get it set up on a linode and it really impressed me. It’s quick, sparse and just feels right. I got bits of it running on my osx machine by substituting a gnu coreutils tool for the default osx version but I was in well over my head and abandoned my efforts. The developer has an admirable stance on free software and I can imagine, and increasingly sympathise with, any apathy he might have towards Apple. If I was young and free I would almost certainly have jumped on fugitive and I hope it keeps getting stronger.

So what did I do? I went with good old jekyll. I already use it for my .com site, it’s getting lots of development love and is well battle-hardened by now. It’s also the devil that I know and I wanted to make this site light and fast. I’m still a big octopress fan and will continue to watch out for a new release. I’ve collected a few links over at Pinboard, if you’re of a Markdown / text to static HTML mindset they might interest you, check them out here.

I’ve also changed the hosting here. I enjoyed a few great years with Media Temple but the recent news that they have been acquired by Go Daddy made me a little queasy; I think the writing is writ large upon that particular wall and I am making preparations to sever all ties. This site is now served from a Digital Ocean instance that’s running Ubuntu. (I’m running Debian over on Linode and am enjoying the Linux learning curve.) I do wish the Linux folk would all get together and make just one thing, but that’s a debate for another day.