Setting up shop

Recently I put up several sites and blogs, most of them in Drupal and I actually maintain several of those still. The main is probably the site of our hackspace (German). But I thought for my own blog, it might be fun to test something new. The decision for Jekyll was due to a colleague asking me for a modern static site generator for his personal homepage. We both had some experience with static site generators as until a recent decision by our university to maintain all sites with a Typo3 (insert the sound of my head hitting some hard object) we generated the site of our group with htp. As you can see from the sourcforge page it is by now rather old, so it was no real option anymore. But when he asked somewhere from the back of my head Jekyll crawled it’s way up.

After I told him that Jekyll exists he went on building his site within 24 hours and showed me the next day. As there where several oddities regarding current HTML and CSS standards (slightly rephrasing him “I don’t really know about modern web design, I would have put &nbps; in to align that.”) So I first set out to build a very similar site more or less to show him some of the tricks he could use. But when I was ready with my version, I thought “Hey looks pretty good let’s take this for my blog.” And so I did, the result you can see here. Obviously I’m not done yet with the functionality, I’ll probably never be, I’m a computer scientist and hacker after all.

The setup

Without further ado here is how this site is set up. As you can already see at the bottom of the page it’s build with Jekyll and Bootstrap. Comments are provided by Disqus, after you registered an account with them they you actually just have to follow this howto to get your own comments, so I won’t repeat that here.

Furthermore I added a tagging plugin, I actually modified jekyll-tagging and merged it with a logarithmic tag cloud. A second plugin allows for excerpt which are generated by just putting “<!–more–>” any place in the post and by that have everything before that as an excerpt. The third and currently last plugin is actually the first Jekyll plugin I wrote myself and allows me to put mathematical formulae in my blog posts and have them converted into MathML. I’ll probably detail that in upcoming blog posts.

Remote site building

Obviously I could just build my page locally and then upload it to my web space. But would that be hacker-like? Don’t think about an answer it was an rhetorical question. Obviously NO!
My extremely awesome hosting provider uberspace allows me to do almost anything programmatically. So I put up a remote git repository and added a post-receive hook, which checks out the repository as soon as I push, builds it with Jekyll and copys it over to my htdocs directory. Since the linked tutorial is German I’ll try to translate that to English later on.


So this is it my new blog let’s see how far it goes.