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I've only done static websites for a long while now. I created ThinCMS as a browser-based tool for building and publishing static web sites. It came about after I learned XSLT well enough to bend it to my will. I used it to build several public and private web sites, including two iterations of longwoodgardens.org (they've since moved to Drupal) and pittsburghtoday.org (where it is still used). XSLT ( and probably other static templating engines) is perfectly capable of generating complex nested navigation. The templates themselves are nested three layers so as to keep things DRY.

The PittsburghToday site is representative of the idea that a static web site is only static in the technical sense of the back-end content serving. The front-end is still dynamic since the data for the charts is being obtained from Google Docs and the Twitter feed from Twitter, etc.

I always felt like the odd man out, so I am glad to see strong interest in static web sites nowadays.




Now days I'm experimenting with client-side nested composition with HTML includes. But I'm also giving ASP.NET MVC 6 a spin.

However you go about generating the HTML that a visitor sees, you still have to content with how to create tooling that satisfies content authors. My position has always been "use whatever tools you want - I'll figure out an automated scheme to convert it". I think that with static site generators it is easier to have that separation of authoring and publishing.




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