Obligatory Meta Post

By way of an introductory post, I thought I'd go a little bit into how I'm running this site. The major parts are Pelican and GitHub.

Pelican is a static website generator written in Python. I became aware of it thanks to Gabe over at Macdrifer. He just moved his blog from WordPress to Pelican and has been writing up the process. My setup is a little different (I'm not migrating any data), but I'm still finding his posts useful. A while back I jotted down the features that I would put into a blogging platform if I had the skill to write one from scratch. I won't bore you with the list, but Pelican hits enough of the important items that I thought it was very appealing.

GitHub is a place to store code online1. That's an oversimplification, of course, but good enough for the purposes of this post. One of the nice side benefits that GitHub offers is the ability to host an entire web site there, provided of course that it's all static files. And as mentioned above, that's exactly what you get from Pelican.

So put the two together, and you have a database free blog that doesn't require you to be a server administrator. The Pelican docs even show you how to make it work.

As much as I love being databaseless and not having to administer a web server, the "killer feature" is that I can write everything in Markdown, wherever I happen to be2, run a shell script, and have the site updated. No control panels to log into, no APIs to connect to, and if GitHub goes belly up I can just get some hosting somewhere, FTP the entire site there, and go on as usual.

  1. But you probably already knew that. 

  2. Thanks Dropbox. 

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