Jesse Buchanan (“jbinto”)

I’m a software developer, a Torontonian, and a Leafs fan.

Blowing the dust off of Octopress

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I’ve taken the time to refresh myself on my Octopress setup. It’s been a few months since I touched it, so obviously I’m a little rusty.

I’ve moved everything from Heroku to my static host, which is hosted on Linode. I was upset with the long (10s) spin-up times for an inactive Heroku website, and wasn’t clear what kind of limitations I’d face with posting large images. I also thought it was a good idea to make this blog the front page of my personal domain, rather than segregating it off to blog.jbinto.ca.

It took a while to get it all set up, but now posting is fairly simple:

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$ rake new_post["Blowing the dust off of Octopress"]
mkdir -p source/_posts
Creating new post: source/_posts/2013-03-01-test.markdown

You open the Markdown file in your favourite text editor, and edit that. You can preview using rake preview and going to localhost:4000 in your browser. To deploy the blog, do:

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rake generate
rake deploy

I also have the source code for the blog hosted at Github.

Why would I use this over something like Wordpress? It seems so complicated! Well, here are some reasons that come to mind:

Pros

  • I have complete control over the generated HTML
  • No dependence on a database server or server-side language
  • The data can be under source control, backed up at Github
  • The data is in plain text, so it will last forever
  • Can be hosted anywhere, since it’s just static HTML
  • Secure; don’t have to worry about upgrading Wordpress
  • I get a nice responsive layout for free
  • It’s written in Ruby

Cons

  • Need access to a terminal, ssh, git to post.
  • Images are tricky. I can embed images directly, but getting nice thumbnails will probably require work. The Flickr feed is nice, but I’ll probably need to post screenshots at some point.

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