New Blog Engine

In large part to lay some foundation for more ownership of my own content in the style of IndieWeb and Micro.blog, I’ve moved my blog and site engine from Jekyll to Hugo. Jekyll has served me for a long time (since my days of using it at Development Seed and Mapbox) but wasn’t working out for me anymore for a few reasons.

Speed

Hugo, being written in Go (a compiled language) is much faster at generating the site while writing as well as publishing. Ruby-based Jekyll took well over a minute to render my full site, while Hugo takes about fifteen seconds. Mostly this is due to about 6GB and 120 files of static media content that I’ve archived on my talks page from nearly fifteen years of speaking. I looked into a bunch of ways to offload this content, but couldn’t settle on a good solution. A faster site build means I’ll (hopefully) create content more often and it won’t require so much hoop-jumping. And Hugo’s live reloading while editing is blissful icing on the cake.

Avoiding Ruby

I’m not much of a language or technology zealot, but the situation with Ruby versions, gems, and dependencies is kind of a nightmare for someone not involved with Ruby development full time. Yes, I looked (extensively) into both RVM and rbenv (the fact that there are at least two ways to manage Ruby versions should tell you something). I looked into both the macOS system Ruby and various Homebrew versions. I checked out Bundler. And for the past few months, I’ve even had a Docker-based solution to maintain a stable Ruby environment across both of my Macs. After years of messing with this, I’m just tired of it. I want to keep software on both of my Macs up to date, but I also want a blogging system that I know will work when I sit down and not require me to mess with software at all. I just want to write!

Groundwork

I like the relative clarity of Hugo’s docs. I think it will be easy for me to get microblogging going, as well as to make use of custom shortcodes for the sorts of things that I want to do. I’ve not been using social media or email of any sort on my phone for over a year, so moving my content creation even more in the direction of a laptop device is fine with me. I’m trying to get off of things like Twitter as my primary platform. I’m also due for an update to projects and links. Stay tuned.

It looks good(?)

I wanted a new theme and look to the site while (initially) keeping the organizational structure exactly the same. I’m using a slightly-tweaked version of this Hyde port.


Thanks for reading! And sorry for any RSS reset! I worked on that, too, but in the end it was a minor inconvenience.