Ruin The assorted ramblings of Brendan Tobolaski

Ghost, again

Some of you may have noticed immediately but, Iʼve switched back to using Ghost. I really really like Jekyll. Its really great, except for doing the main thing that a blog is for, Writing. This is the writing workflow for working with Jekyll:

  1. write post
  2. name post
  3. edit post
  4. move and rename post
  5. fill in the date
  6. tag the post
  7. generate preview
  8. commit the post
  9. build the site
  10. deploy the site

Where as with Ghost, its more like this:

  1. Name the post
  2. write the post
  3. tag the post
  4. edit the post
  5. publish the post

On top of that, I can do all of these steps on any device that has a web browser with Ghost. With Jekyll, I need a Mac for #4 and the last 4 steps. Additionaly, the preview and the build both take ~15 seconds. Not exactly long but, it is long enough to be annoying. I havenʼt been writing here as much as I would like. Obviously its not my blog setupʼs fault but, it is a contributing factor.

I could reduce the number of steps from Jekyll but, only to the level Ghost. It would require significant work. The first simplifications would be easy, I could set up a script to automatically build and deploy the site on commit. That is the easy part though. The next few steps are considerably harder. It involves writing a good web interface for Jekyll. While that does appeal to me in some ways, I realize that Iʼm never going to have time to write a really good web interface.

None of that is to say that I donʼt like Jekyll. Its really really great. Its really good at all of the things that arenʼt writing. It has easily the best theming system. It also supports things like Sass and Coffeescript. It is also extremely easy to deploy. It can be deployed to any web host. It should always perform well as serving static files is very efficient. Its also extremely flexible and it will allow you to do things that things that wouldnʼt. It also has various plugins that add some pretty cool things. One of these makes picture tags. Of course, the bigest benefit of Jekyll is itʼs plain text format. Its easily the best format for blog posts that Iʼve ever run accross.

I miss it already. In fact, I wasnʼt even sure that I was going to be making the switch. I switched back and forth over the weekend. Iʼm very attracted to the plain text format that Jekyll uses. I also like the other tools that it gives me, such as Sass. Iʼm also able to use picture tags which, are awesome. Of course, you need to polyfill it, for now. But, Iʼm giving that all up for the very reason that blogs exist, for writing. That is the most important thing for a blog. Iʼve chosen to optimize for writing above everything else.