For years I’ve been using Textpattern to run this site. Now I’m not. Textpattern is far too big a hammer for my needs. I don’t need a relational database to run my dinky little website.
I switched to Jekyll. Static site generation is neat. It’s not a panacea:
- No more comments. Comments are neat in a sort of self-indulgent and narcissistic way. The comments are not featured, however, in the basic article pager. The barrier to entry is very low. So, for those of you that want to respond to something I say, you’ll have to use your blog, tumblr, twitter, or whatnot now. My contact information exists for those wanting a more personal dialog.
- Rebuilding the site is slow. A relatively modest machine (in my case an X3430 with more than enough memory) takes a minute to chew through all of the input. You don’t notice these things when you’re starting a site from scratch, but it’s a bit ornery when you’ve got thousands of posts of content. With that said, nothing I publish needs to be online right now.
I thought I had a problem with all of the links being broken because of the new site structure. It turns out somebody did all the hard work of figuring out the infrastructure to get around this for me; many thanks to the post at http://www.marran.com/tech/creating-redirects-with-jekyll/. The downside is had to correlate all of the old links to the new ones; this should be relatively simple, but differences in encoding schemes and several generations of Textpattern data made it a bit of a manual chore. Now, it makes the actual site a giant mess of litter and nast, but at least the code that generates it looks pretty clean.
With that said, there are a lot of upsides, none of them particularly unique to my situation. You’ll find plenty extolling the virtues of static site generation in detail. I won’t waste your time.