I could have just tossed a WordPress installation up somewhere. It probably would have taken less time to set up. But I’m not a big fan of WordPress. I’m not a big fan of anything that needs extra plugins to be reasonably secure. I like fast and simple. AND NOW HERE I AM.
Any seasoned (or even soft-boiled) developer realizes the potential of the terminal. I’m not an average web user. I shouldn’t have to learn the lingo of the CMS du-jour. if I want to build a good site or blog. I should be able to use basically three skills: Git, Markdown, and the terminal. No dicking through page after page of backend material. I already know these things, and they have proven themselves as my most enjoyable tools to use.
I also wanted this blog to be fast. Software like WordPress, Movable Type, MojoMotor, Drupal… They’re burdened with significant overhead of processing and delivering pages. Some have plugins to help, but I think that we shouldn’t even need them. Why would you ship a slow product and have third parties make it safe and efficient? Seems like skipping a step.†
I don’t want to pick on WordPress too much. Automattic is a neat company and deserves respect for making blogging and site creation so accessible. For me, it became less efficient once I “knew better.”
So here I am working with Octopress. I get to tap out Markdown without needing a web-based WYSIWYG editor and type a command to send everything up to the free Github Pages service. This blog is what I’d call “TV Magic.” Like on cooking shows. All of the same things happen here that would happen on a dynamic site, just done beforehand so they come out quick. Similar to the ways Emeril Lagasse has his roasts roasting an hour before the show. Just when they’re ready, it’s Bam and we have dinner.
Octopress is wonderful software, and definite props to Brandon Mathis for his work making Jekyll friendly. Good sir, you’re the only reason I actually had enough fun putting up a blog to… Well, put up a blog.
At the end of the day, roasting my roasts in advance means low overhead, faster requests, and simple hosting. I’m a PHP programmer for sure, and I know there are things PHP and its derivative frameworks are good at.
Simple blogging just isn’t putting PHP’s best foot forward.
† Yeah, ORACLE.
Note: Edited for spelling/grammar on March 21, 2013