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Jekyll, the blog engine of kings (chrismdp.github.com)
52 points by samstokes on Dec 16, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

There is a wonderful ruby/rake based static website generator http://webby.rubyforge.org. It offers a choice of templating languages (ERB, Textile, Markdown, HAML, SASS), and doesn't force you to use Liquid.

Jekyll is a spin-off of a server-side application. Safety features of Liquid templates make sense on the server, but for a desktop application using Liquid is completely pointless. In Webby you are free to do whatever you want with ruby using erb or haml.

Another killer feature is ability to write plugins for Webby in a snap. For example, Webby can process LaTeX snippets and generate formula images for your web page. There is even a gnuplot plugin that lets you plot data that you save alongside your document.

I tried Webby before and liked it. I'm now using Nanoc3[1], which has tagging and a lot of other nice features, especially for blogs, right out of the box.

[1] http://nanoc.stoneship.org/

I am thinking of switching my purely Jekyll based blog to using Octopress which is a blogging framework based on Jekyll and has these features :

* A nice, easy to configure theme that focuses on readability.

* Built in support for Twitter, Delicious, Disqus Comments, Google Analytics, and Custom Search.

* Rake tasks that make development fast, and deploying easy.

Github repo : http://github.com/imathis/octopress

Jekyll is absolutely brilliant. There are a lot of static blog generation tools out there but this seems to work best for me. I dont use the github integration much (automatic publishing by pushing to github) but do store my site on a github repo.

The only downside as with any static site solution is comments. I currently use Disqus - I have no complaints with them except that I like to own my comments rather than hosting them with a 3rd party.

"I currently use Disqus - I have no complaints with them except that I like to own my comments rather than hosting them with a 3rd party."

Are there any opensource alternatives to Disqus? I'd rather run my own comment server then give up control to someone else, if it weren't a pain.

I'd love to see a lightweight version of Disqus/Intense Debate--they seem so bloated. No branding, avatars, voting, etc...just simple, fast commenting.

A somewhat similar project, Aerial[1], does comments through git. Although I've yet to try it out, it seems like a nice solution.

1. http://github.com/mattsears/aerial

I was using Disqus as well for comments on my gihub blog, but some random reason it started redirecting to itself. Didn't have time to debug it so just removed it for now.

another downside is that you have to regenerate your whole site manually every time you make a small design change.

The more semantic you make your HTML, the less that this tends to matter. Right now I'm actually <section>ing and <article>ing my way around my site, so when I want to change the design, I head straight for the one place it's actually described: the CSS.

Not to mention the template mechanism. With my (home made) site generation tool, I changed the whole design of my site by changing exactly 2 filesĀ : the template, and the css.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but if you run jekyll --server --auto while in development any small change you make gets automatically regenerated and it only regenerates affected files.

I didn't know jekyll had a server. If it does than it's not exactly static blogging anymore.

It is a server for testing purposes, like seeing how you site will look before uploading to your webserver

For the more adventurous, here a Haskell port. http://github.com/jaspervdj/Hakyll

I played around with Jekyll a bit and while it's cool, there were a few things I didn't like, such as the fact that you're limited to one "posts" feed, rather than being able to easily publish arbitrary content and have multiple feeds. I also wanted to be able to use Haml instead of Liquid, and dump the configuration into my primary layout rather than in a separate file.

So I grabbed my yak-shaving kit, and rolled my own library in Lua. It's not entirely done, but I'm using it and it may be interesting to you if you like to work with Lua.


I had to use Jekyll the other day for something relatively small and it frustrated me, but that's because I've been using StaticMatic (http://staticmatic.rubyforge.org/) for about a year and, let me tell you, it's the bees' knees. The cat's pajamas, if you will. Haml, Sass, Rails-like templates, generates the html and css to upload to your site. I added a deploy script that minifies my css and js, and it's been a thrill to work with.

I wish Hyde (the python equiv) had this much support/momentum.


There is also another Python one called Igor: http://github.com/aconbere/igor

you might also try out utterson, a unix based variant (make, zsh, ksh, awk, m4, etc): http://github.com/stef/utterson

Does it really use both zsh and ksh? If you have to install two different shells for their functions, why not just use a real scripting language like Perl or Python?

it bugged me, so i removed the zsh dependency. thanks for the feedback. ;)

unfortunately currently yes, but it is high on my list to reduce this to ksh only. but anyway everyone should have ksh for scripting and zsh for interactive shelling if you ask me. ;)

Jekyll is a promising tool, but not having tags is a pain. Also, markup errors are silently swallowed when running jekyll --server --auto.

you can use categories as a yaml listing and that works.. just means the url for the post will become /cat1/cat2/date-title.html

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