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Setting first tools for blogging

Hi there!

In this piece of writing, I will conduct a brief "Likbez" [1] on the tools necessary to get your first post series running on Github pages with simple Markdown syntax. Doubtlessly, ready plaforms like Medium, Tumblr are effective for beginners, since it does not require any preliminary knowledge of HTML, or hosting domains at least. It is also favorable for those who want to communicate with the audience immediately because the service is already well-known among writing and reading people. However, in these platforms, there are not many things to play with: you cannot create your own directories, styles, for example. Moreover, Medium has a paid subscription plan, which is an extra 5 USD monthly cost to your budget.

Another way is to set Google Blog or WordPress style free content management system where you can easily host your posts. One good thing about them is that they have proper documentation, a bunch of templates, and tutorials are available nowadays throughout the web on topics to build your first website. I also started learning to make a website from WordPress template. It is truly powerful, gives many functionalities that would take even advanced developer to code it for a week. With WordPress, you can directly focus on writing without being careful much about the technical part.

And the third way, which I am going to cover in this writing, is related to Markdown. Static site generators, like Jekyll and Gatsby, are oriented for blog category contents. They are less complicated, faster, and more secure [2]. With GitHub Pages, anyone can freely host their static website as a separate repository, which is handy. The syntax for creating posts is a lightweight markup language with plain-text-formatting syntax, called Markdown. No specialized training is required to start writing with this syntax, just the following cheat sheet.

1. Basic GitHub command line tools to learn

git clone https://github.com/YOUR-USERNAME/YOUR-REPOSITORY 	# To make a copy of repo
git status			# To check if copy is up-to-date compared with remote
git add .			# Adding all changes made locally
git commit -m "Your comment" 	# Commit changes with description message
git log 			# Show log of all activites
git remote -v 			# Show branches of repo
git push origin master 		# Pushing to master branch

2. Installing Markdown Preview for Sublime Text 3

  • Command Palette (Shift + Command + P)
  • Package Control: Install Package → Search for MarkdownPreview
  • After package is installed, open Command Palette again
  • Choose Markdown Preview: Preview in Browsergithub

If Sublime Text starts showing this error after some time:

It seems like you have exceeded GitHub's API rate limit
  1. Go here: Generate new token → Put name (ex: "Markdown preview") → GenerateCopy to clipboard

  2. Go to Sublime Text: PreferencesPackage SettingsMarkdown PreviewSettings

  3. Insert this piece to empty line

{
    "github_oauth_token": "[your token you copied here, without square brackets]"
}

3. Using math formulas in Markdown

LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting system is a standard syntax for describing mathematical symbols and equations. It is commonly used in combination with different formats. However, Markdown cannot support it natively. There have been several workarounds implemented for this problem. The one which worked for me the best and the easiest was TeXify. It is basically a GitHub application (description here) that you can directly download to your account without efforts. Once installed, the application status can be checked at SettingsApplications.
To create TeXify based file, create "YOUR-FILENAME.tex.md and start using it as it is a simple Markdown. To follow specific symbols and syntax, this MathJax-Guide is helpful. Here is some result example from TeXify:

Conclusion

Of course, there are many more tools to be acquired and in more depth than this writing. But, at least you have an idea, and you can utilize these three as a starting point to roll your first post. I hope anyone reading can find the information useful for further explorations. Meanwhile, I will also update on here if I figure out something interesting later.

Notes

[1] During the Soviet Union period, specifically between the 1920s and 1930s, this term was used to describe campaigns on behalf of which many schools and courses were established. Started with Lenin's initiative, their primary goal was to increase the literacy of the population in general.

[2] Hackers usually exploit for anything dynamic. For example, WordPress, in its nature, is creating content from existing files, database and returning to the user with each request (cache can prevent it, but it costs adding another step. With plugins complexity level is increased even more). As for static site generator, a hacker attack is still possible, but chances are lower. For a detailed read, refer to Why use a static generator?

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