A new beginning
If you're reading this, you're seeing my new and shiny blog :-)
Blogging has been quite light here over the last few years; as PythonAnywhere has taken off, life has become ever-busier, so, less time to post.
But I also feel like one of the reasons that I've not been posting has been that I was using a Wordpress blog. Not that there's anything wrong with Wordpress, mind, but every time I logged on to it there were a pile of security updates to download and install, which was very demotivating. So often I'd think, "oh, I should post about that" but just never get round to it.
(There's also the faint embarrassment factor of running one of the most popular Python hosting platforms, and having a blog based on PHP...)
For a long time I'd been vaguely planning to switch over to some kind of static site generator like Hugo or Sphinx. They are both well-regarded, but our experience in porting the PythonAnywhere blog over to the former gave me some pause; while Hugo was really configurable, it always seemed to be really hard to configure it the specific way we wanted.
And then I thought, wait a minute. I'm meant to be a programmer. How hard can it be to write a simple static site generator?
That's the kind of sentence that feels like it should be followed by, "it was actually really hard". But it wasn't, because all of the pieces have been coded by generous people already and it was just a case of plugging them together.
With the help of wpparser to parse an export of my old blog (which I fed into a little script that spat out the articles in a Hugo-like format) and then markdown2 to format markdown-based posts, Pygments to highlight my code blocks, and then Jinja2 to let me bung the results in some templates, and feedgen to write out an RSS file, it was pretty easy to put together something that replicated the URL structure of the old blog.
To be honest, I've spent significantly more time fiddling with the CSS to make it all look pretty. I doubt that bit shows.
Anyway, now I have something where I can knock together a quick post in markdown, run a command, and have it published. Welcome to my new blog!
I'll be scanning through the old posts over the coming days and fixing any formatting issues I find.
The next step will be to work out some way of bringing the comments
over, as they (of course) don't really fit in with the whole "static site" side of
things. I have some ideas, though... But if you'd like to leave a comment in the meantime, @ me on Twitter.
(Update 2021-02-22: comments are back!)