budts.be v5: Pelican

It's been 5 years since I wrote my last blogpost. Until today.

The past years my interest in blogging declined. Combined with the regular burden of Drupal security updates, I seriously considered to simply scrap everything and replace the website with a simple one-pager. Although a lot of my older blog-posts are not very useful (to say the least) or are very out of date, some of these bring memories of long gone times. Needles to say I didn't like the idea of deleting everything from these past 15 years.

Meanwhile I also have the feeling that social networks, Facebook in particular, have too much control over the content we create. This gave me the idea to start using this blog again. By writing content on my own blog, I can take control back and still easily post it to Facebook, Twitter and so on. A few days later Dries wrote a post about his very similar plans. Apparently this idea even has a name: The IndieWeb movement.

I decided I would go the route of the static site generators. After reading articles and comparisons about Jekyll, Hugo, Pelican and Hexo I felt that Pelican, together with Jekyll, came closest to the features I wanted. In the end I choose Pelican because it is written in Python and some other small differences with Jekyll. Converting all my blog-posts from Drupal turned out to be easier than I expected. To do this I wrote a small Drupal module with two Drush commands. One to export the nodes and another to export all the comments.

The new theme was inspired by my love for Vim, the Molokai colorscheme, Vimwiki and Markdown.

So... We'll see what the future brings. Maybe a new post will appear from time to time again. Or maybe this will be the first and last post for another 5 years. Time will tell... But at least I won't have to worry about Drupal security updates anymore. And writing blog-posts as simple Markdown files is refreshing.



den Ben on 2018-03-17 10:24 reply

Have you considered Gatsby too?


jeroen on 2018-03-17 20:33 reply

You mean GatsbyJS? No I didn't consider that one, as this is the first time I learn about it. In all the articles and comparisons of static site generators it was never mentioned.
Although I'm not a huge fan of node.js this certainly looks interesting. Looking at the homepage I see it mentions Drupal as a datasource. That could certainly be interesting when working with less technical users, so you can use Drupal for content editing, but still have the advantages of a static site as well.
Do you have experience with Gatsby?


den Ben on 2018-03-17 21:04 reply

Nope, no experience. Just pondering on some site ideas (incl. one for my band). Was looking at Hugo first but then Gatsby came on to my radar somehow. The thought of picking up some React along the way intrigues me. Then again... just focusing on markdown content writing is also tempting ;-)


jeroen on 2018-03-17 23:31 reply

I seriously considered Hugo as it looks nice as well. The problem with Hugo however (from what I read), is that it does not support plugins. If you want to change/extend it's functionality you have to fork it, write Go-code, and compile it...
And indeed, just writing in Markdown is very enjoyable. Certainly because all my other notes from meetings, projects etc are also in Markdown in Vimwiki.

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