This past winter I put a bit of work into writing some custom software that would allow me to maintain my blog. I wanted something that would:
- Allow me to store posts as plain-text files on my computer.
- Generate everything as static HTML.
- Sync with Amazon S3 storage so I could make something that was essentially crash-proof.
I came up with my own, super-alpha-quality software called TextLoft. A month or so after that I was working on a Shopify theme for a client that made use of the Liquid templating system. It was actually very similar to the system I'd implemented for TextLoft, but was much cleaner and offered better features so I looked into adapting it.
Lo and behold, my research led me to Jekyll - a better version of what I'd set out to do. It does everything I want with the added benefit of being not nearly so buggy as TextLoft.
Sometimes it's good to unknowingly reinvent the wheel though. I have a better understanding of the various pitfalls that come with writing your own templating system, and I also developed some interesting approaches to emulating some of the "dynamic" aspects of a database-driven blogging platform like WordPress. I look forward to writing a post on the client-side site search I plan on rolling out soon… Unless I stumble across a better-made version of that wheel too :-)