Hello, Jekyll

January 29, 2016

Migrating this site from ~5 static pages to a static site generator took some time, but it will provide enough convenience for updating that it was worth it. This site is now generated using Jekyll, a Ruby project that takes a handful of text files and transforms them into a fully functioning blog or site without requiring a server to back it up.

Some of the most useful components for me:

  • Templating

Being able to ‘include’ the site navigation in all of your files or loop through blog posts to generate a list allow you to stay DRY in the rest of your pages. This saves a lot of time and prevents complexity.

  • Markdown

This blog post was written in Markdown instead of raw HTML. It’s also possible to include <code> snippets without manually escaping characters.

  • Environments

I can now programmatically determine actions based on the environment. This is especially useful for things like file references and linking - in production I want to link to an absolute path for my CSS file, but while developing I want it to be a relative link to my local directory. You can see how I do that here.