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I think it's a bit of a shame that this discussion has focused on the tech and (slightly odd) HTML choices here. Those are probably the least interesting parts of any discussion around what a "next gen" blog platform might look like.

Where the author is correct about next-gen blogging (in my opinion anyway) is in the attempt to reduce the friction to publishing a new post. What tech stack you use, whether it's static, what your HTML looks like, are all entirely secondary to whether or not you actually use your blog to build a corpus of content that shows off your opinions, expertise, and insights over time. That's what a blog is. It isn't HTML tags and CSS. It's the content within the tags. For me any next-gen blog tech has to make 3 things trivially easy -

- it needs to be simple to set up and maintain. If my laptop dies and I can't just clone my blog's repo and run a couple of commands to get back to where I was it won't work.

- it needs to be really simple to publish a post. Most blogs use Markdown with either front matter or a specific file path. That's OK but it puts most of the cognitive load on me. I'm sure there's a better way but I don't know what it is. I use 11ty for my blog which is very good, and if I didn't worry about URLs as much as I do it would be could actually work. But I do.

- there's nothing that pushes me to write more. This is the kicker, and no one has ever solved it. I think a blog platform that recommends posts I should write, and that praises me for writing, would drive me to actually write far more than I do. So far the only blog platform I've seen come close is Hashnode, but even that doesn't do it very well.

Author created static website where he manually links to each page and he claims this is 'next-gen' of blogging. You know what's next gen of blogging? Substack. You know why? It's because for most people rss is "hard" to use (mostly because they aren't familiar with it, thanks Google!), meanwhile everyone is familiar with email clients.

Author says: > Managing this blog is a little more involved than dynamically generating everything.


> Simplicity is key.

If he will blog for long enough that simplicity might become a technical debt. Right know this 'next-gen' blog doesn't even have an rss feed.

Agree with you. So... managing it is more involved than dynamically generating everything, and it doesn't have rss?

I mean... I expect that putting more work into it would be a tradeoff for more features, not less

For me, the power of a blogging platform is in automating boilerplate. This lacks:

- search - categories - RSS - archive pages - header/footer/navigation

It's great that the content area is simpler, but if I just typey-typey for the blog post and then have to manually create backlinks and the RSS feed item then forget it.

There is such a thing as _too_ simple.

IMHO blogs are documents, and HTML is no longer designed for documents but web applications.

Blogs need to go back to document publishing formats. It doesn't get more user-friendly than 1. WYSIWYG word processor; 2. Save As PDF; 3. Dump the file on a web host.

I'm switching to PDF/A: https://lab6.com/0#page=2

No, Pdf isn't appropriate for electronic documents, it is especially user-unfriendly.

What exactly do you have against HTML? (It's not like we have any better alternative...)

IMHO the .mhtml format should be resurrected.

EDIT: And the Pdf format can be abused as well. At least it's easy to block JavaScript on HTML, even selectively (uMatrix).

I expect to be able to use video in an electronic document, PDF readers don't seem to be even able to support MP4, much less the upcoming AV1 !

PDF is the last way I want to consume content, especially on a smaller device.

I want to read the content, so just give me the content, not a pretentious image of it. Just give me <p> and image tags. Basic data.

I don’t want your “document”.

I wrote a response to this a few months ago that others may be interested in:


Largely I am baffled, because the end result seems worse in almost every way than the starting point of HTML.

As a visually impaired person please don't. I like being able to resize text and still have the document flow properly instead of endlessly scrolling back and forth.

It's a Tagged PDF so supports reflow or extraction into HTML or text formats.

I'm a big fan of pdf/a but it doesn't support reflow, not in any sense that users would want or mean. Reading your post on a phone is awful.

"User friendly". Yes, for you, the author. At the expense of everyone reading your blog. When considering this is a one to infinity relationship (i.e. write once read a million times), focusing on optimizing the "write once" at the expense of the million times it gets read, might just well... cause it to be read only 10 times instead.

I wouldn't even bother reading a PDF and I am on a desktop. I make some exception: Books & Papers, device manuals and legal documents & the like.

I would never read a blog in PDF, unless it's the last blog on earth.

Excellent article, and a compelling proposition! Thanks for sharing this.

I hate reading that on mobile device, as it doesn't support reflow.

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