poita.org

Simplicity in Everything

Posted: 2012-01-22 - Link

This website is now created using Jekyll. Originally, I had used Joomla, a big, industrial-strength content management system.

Joomla worked well for a while, but I quickly reached a point where I found myself unable to do, what should have been, simple things. For example, I couldn’t see any obvious way of extracting all the text from my posts – it was stored in a database somewhere. There was no simple way to test changes to my site locally because I couldn’t see how everything pieced together. It was just too complex for something that should have been very simple.

So I got thinking about what would be the simplest way to generate my website.

Well, what is my website? It’s just a collection of pages with the same layout, but with different blobs of text inserted in the middle for each post. I’d also like to generate some lists: recent posts, related posts, that kind of thing.

Ideally, what I want is something that transforms this

<body>
<h1>{{ page.title }}</h1>
{{ page.content }}
</body>

into this

<body>
<h1>Simplicity in Everything</h1>
<p>This website is now created using Jekyll...</p>
...
</body>

That’s exactly what Jekyll does. It just goes through all your pages and uses Liquid to transform them into a static site. Don’t believe me? The entire source for this site is on GitHub.

To test my website locally, I just run jekyll --server and head on over to http://0.0.0.0:4000. To deploy, I just run jekyll && rsync ..., which generates the site and copies it over to my remote server. That’s it.

Why can’t everything be this simple?

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