Howard Dierking

How This Blog is Setup

I’ve been trying to get caught up on my backlog of things that I generally like doing but haven’t been finding the time to do recently, and a current project at work has me working in the same technology on which this blog is based - so it gave me a convenient excuse to - yet again - try and revive this blog. We’ll have to see how well I do in keeping up with writing. I find that in the world of tech bloggers, and trainers - but more on that in a later post - people fall uneasily into one of two camps: there’s the folks who work day jobs as practitioners and then keep up with writing out of the pure joy or catharsis that the activity may provide. There are also folks who write because it’s either a part of their job or because it’s a marketing activity to promote their job (e.g. training). I would aspire to be in that first category and while I have nothing against those in the latter category, it’s just not really for me. If I’m going to err on a particular side, you should expect that this blog will go silent while I’m up to my eyeballs in building and learning.

So, now that I’ve made excuses for my silence over the last few months…

This blog. Hopefully by now, you’ve at least had some exposure to Jekyll, as it’s become incredibly popular over the last year or so due to it being the engine for GitHub Pages. In the event that you don’t feel like following links, the executive summary is that Jekyll (and frameworks like it) do all of that fancy transformation and rendering work that frameworks like ASP.NET do on the server and they do it as a build step. The input consists of HTML templates (like in those server-based frameworks) and a set of markdown files that define your content. The output is a completely static Web site that can be deployed anywhere on anything capable of hosting HTML files (which is pretty much everywhere). If you’re running a content Website (e.g. not a Web application), you would be absolutely crazy not to at least take a look at this over your current content management system. Here are a few reasons.

So here are a few data points on the setup for this blog.

While the process was generally painless, there are a couple of gotchas that you may want to be aware of.

As I mentioned, I’m spending a good bit more time with Jekyll at the moment because we’re currently rebuilding our entire developer documentation site on it. So here are something areas where I’m currently learning. Note that this blog will likely be getting a bit of an upgrade over the next month or so as it’s also my learning Jekyll playground.

And there are probably quite a few things that I don’t even know that I don’t know yet - I’ll try and write about them as I discover them!