Yet another static-file-to-magical-blog-thing. But this one's mine, and it's kinda cool.
Ruby CoffeeScript JavaScript
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About this Repository

I know what you're thinking. Really, I do. you're thinking:

But why didn't he just use magical double-rainbow blog generator x?

Believe me, I looked at a lot. I've already been using Octopress. It started off real cool, but eventually I found it was really hard to change any of the styles because they were so hardout, and eventually the whole multi-repo-push-to-github thing became a complete mess, and long story short, I haven't been able to push any blog posts for ages.

I've also looked at more CMS-y things like Refinery, but that's just way to heavy for me. Plus I like hacking on things, and with Refinery I'd still have a lot of the same styling problems I had with Octopress.

I eventually got around to and thought I was onto something - a lightweight platform that had basically what I needed, and could be hosted on Heroku without too much work from me. As I dug into the source code though, I found that it was actually kinda complex - more complex than I thought it needed to be.

So, here's the situation I'm in:

  • A whole bunch of posts in Markdown, but not pure Markdown, because Jekyll likes to have YAML metadata thrown in at the top of the file.
  • A nice-looking and responsive blog, which I absolutely cannot deploy to no matter how hard I try.
  • A bit of a mess of styles which I find really difficult to manage.
  • Overall, more than I need.

Here's what I've done:

  • I've written a simple Rakefile with a single task, compile. This task reads my posts from the /posts folder (which is copied straight from my Octopress blog), extracts out the YAML metadata, and parses the rest of the file through Redcarpet. It outputs all files in a JSON file called posts.json.
  • I've run through (which is awesome), and set up a really basic skeleton using Less (also awesome), and HTML5 Boilerplate with all the stuff I don't use stripped out.
  • I've added just enough Coffeescript to render a list of posts, and show each post using Backbone.js, an MVC-like framework for the browser.

The result of this is that I have a folder of Markdown posts I can write in Mou, and then 'compile' locally, before deploying what is now a static site wherever the hell I want. That is why I called this repo blog-simple (for now). It's just a website, and we all know how to poke those.