Ever since I started blogging, I've been using WordPress. Actually it was way back when it was still in its 1st version series -- and, compared to whatever else was available, it was great. But, since then, WordPress has become this bloated monster that will eat all your cores trying to serve a few requests per second. Of course the clever PHP guy will say "caching." Trouble is, the available caching plugins work overall terribly, especially if you're trying to customize things even a tiny bit (plus, their naming is downright stupid -- SuperDuperAwesomeNicenessCache 18.104.22.168 is my absolute favorite.)
I've been far lazier in posting recently than I actually wanted to be. I have some 20 posts written that I just could not be bothered to post because I was so tired of WordPress. The design was getting me down as well -- my eyes were literally hurting when switching to and from the dark layout. So, it was time for WordPress to go and for nick bruun.dk to get a fresh start.
Dr. Jekyll and his static page generation
I spent a lot of time debating with myself whether to go for another dynamic blogging engine or go all Arment on this thing and use static page generation. Blogging engines are nice in that they're easily administered from anywhere and by anyone, but it's been so long since I've last needed any of that, that it's no longer an argument for me. Also, after making the switch to Mac in spring last year, I've fallen even deeper in love with emacs so I really wanted to just be able to fire up emacs to do my writing.
Eventually, the choice was easy then; I needed a static blog generation engine. But, if you think there are a lot of dynamic blogging engines out there, let me tell you: there's a fuck load of static blogging engines out there. I could however narrow my choices quite a bit, as I wanted to use Markdown as the input format -- partly inspired by Marco Arment's mentions of his Markdown based static blogging engine Second Crack on his 5by5 podcast, Build & Analyze, and partly due to 1½ years' indoctrination by Steffen.
I played around with a few of the generators I could find, but eventually decided to settle on jekyll, partly because Second Crack wasn't available yet. jekyll was initially created by one of the GitHub co-founders, Tom Preston-Werner, and it combines my favorite non-evaluating templating language, Liquid, with Markdown in a beautiful manner. The only down side is, that it's written in Ruby, which is currently on my language shit list, but the pure awesomeness of jekyll, with commands like
$ jekyll --server firing up a local HTTP server for testing and development, far outweighs any arguments against the language. In fact, it took me no more than 5 hours to get set up, add support for Less, do a design overhaul and port all my previous posts to Markdown. That's productivity for you right there.
On an ironic side note, Marco Arment actually launched an alpha version of his Second Crack blogging engine around the same time I put this site online.
... not really, no. But, I've decided to at least try and steer the focus of my blog a bit towards what's now taking up quite a lot of both my spare time and work days; server side focused development in C and C++. Like I mentioned, I've already got a lot of posts lined up, so I've put quite a lot of effort into making reading posts on this blog a decent experience.
While it may be a bit quiet in the coming weeks, as I'll be heading off for Mérida, México early Monday morning for three weeks' vacation, February onwards will bring far more activity to this blog, as I'll start sharing some of my work in areas like parallel computing, concurrent server software, and not least my work on every programmers dream; my pet language.
So, I hope you find the new design to be at least somewhat decent, and that whatever shows up here will be of some value to you (if not, you're in the wrong place.)