Move to Jekyll

24 February 2014

A few days ago my ExpressionEngine install went haywire and I needed to get a quick blog up to avoid having a site full of broken links. I've used plenty of heavy CMS's for my blog before, and instead of a system to do the work for me I wanted something open that I could use as my "breakable toy". It didn't take me long to settle on Jekyll, the static-site generator created by Github founder Tom Preston-Werner.

There are a couple main reasons why this was an easy decision for me.

Easy templating

As the name implies, Jekyll generates static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files using Liquid templates. This means that there is no backend. Nothing to break. Nothing to hack. Just a few files on a server. Just a template defining your default page and your post type and you're done with markup.

You can write all of your articles in Markdown

I've been using Markdown to write my articles for awhile, using a EE plugin while I was still on the CMS. This makes it even easier as Markdown is the native writing language for Jekyll. It's by far my favorite way to write for the web.

There is nothing getting in the way

Because there is no front-end framework, I can do whatever the hell I want. I want this blog to be my breakable sandbox that I can play around with fun ideas without worrying about conflicts. All of the CSS and JS on this site comes custom from me (for better or worse).

If you want to take Jekyll for a test drive, you can either start with the official documentation or clone my blog and run jekyll serve on the directory to see it for yourself.

Excerpts from recent posts

I Wrote About Three.js For Smashing Magazine 17 September 2013

I was happy to write an article for the fantastic Smashing Magazine that describes basics of polygonal modeling as well as modeling on the web with ThreeJS.

A Flimsy Wall 2 July 2013

Esquire recently released an article detailing the author of Proof of Heaven and his questionable claims and background. To supplement this type of story, they have implemented a per-article paywall. Unfortunately, it is not well implemented, easily passed, and ends up only charging the misinformed.

Flexbox Taking Advantage Of Flexible Boxes 3 June 2013

The Flexible Boxes (or Flexbox) specification in CSS3 is one of the newest solutions for making the development of responsive layouts easier and much more sane. The goal of the specification is to accomodate websites on a variety of screen sizes and resolutions, and be able to maintain structural integrity through switching between portrait and landscape modes, or other changes that may be out of the developer's control.

Amazon S3 Gem Invalid Multibyte Escape 26 May 2013

After cloning an old project from Github onto a new computer, I started the local server only to receive this error:

Blog Posts

Getting Started With Gulp

25 March 2014

After finally transitioning away from using Codekit for my workflow and deciding on Gulp over Grunt for my task running due to its modularity and easy of use. I really love it so far, but as with any change in workflow there's always bound to be some kinks.

Mark Goodyear has a great post that walks you through the different Gulp patterns and leaves you with a great starting point.