I've long had an interest in starting up a simple blog for the purpose of documenting various projects on which I'm working. So it seems that the first thing I should blog about is the process of choosing and configuring blogging software.
I started posting things on the web when I was in college where
every page was hand-crafted HTML and dumped in
~/public_html/ of my account on the Computer
Science web server (I believe it started as a
but then became a Red Hat box) and everything went live thanks to
mod_userdir. Even before using HTML, I
frequently used WordPerfect 5.1's "Reveal Codes" ability to
inspect the control tags/codes used by the document which saved
me much grief. I still prefer HTML over modern markup
because HTML's tags are consistent. When trying the other
markup languages, I frequently get stung by entering text that
turns out to mean something to the markup engine, and when I
reach for some of the more powerful features (tables, acronyms,
code blocks, etc), I have to go to the reference materials every
single time to make sure I get it correct. In HTML, all markup
consists of an opening
< followed by a closing
>, and entities are always escaped with
&. Consistent—the way I like it.
However, any time I wanted to change the look and feel of the site, I had to touch every single file (at least those that I cared about) and I also had to remember to update any index pages every time I added or renamed a page.
Server Side Includes
At some point, I explored using
Server side includes
to make the site look more uniform. While it was a bit of a
hassle, it had the advantage that I could update the look of the
site by changing a couple included files. I still had to
manually update indexes, but it was a step in the right
direction. Again, for deployment, since my college server was
Dynamic blogging platforms
Then blogging platforms such as Wordpress and Drupal came along with dynamic sites backed by a database. These held a lot more promise, allowing me to maintain my content and site theme independently.
Static Site Generators
Finally, static site generators have grown in popularity. They allow for lower server demands, a smaller attack-surface, and a separation of the content from the structure it populates and its . This site has been created with Nikola, a static site generator developed in Python.