Appalling Farrago

A blog about stuff

What I'm using!
16 Jun 2013

I wanted to list the tools I’m using to make this blog and the reasons I chose them. First and foremost I do most of my work in ruby on rails and so it would seem like an obvious first choice to use for a blog. The problem with rails is its a bit of a behemoth. Using rails to write a blog feels like building ikea furniture. Each piece is well thought out and there are clear instructions for putting it together but it is still up to you to build the bloody thing!

So I thought maybe wordpress is the blogging engine for me. I’ve set up a few wordpress sites but they always feel… clunky. The issue might be I work with the code everyday so if I want to add something to a site I want to be able to just do it rather then go searching through the settings or installing another plugin. I have nothing against wordpress and consider it a blessing to the web because it allows people who don’t write code to come up with something decent with very little effort. A great example is my wife who knows wordpress settings better then I do. She volenteers at any rat rescure here in Arizona and you can find her blog on all things ratty here.

It just so happens I was looking for a solution to a coding problem when I stumbled across this blog post, I think (it was a while ago so not sure if I’m giving credit to the right post). Anyway I started looking into github pages. Bascially you need to make a repo called and it’ll load up a static site for you. Having nothing to loose I made the repo and hit the generate page button.

So in maybe 5 minutes messing around on github I had a site up. So I pulled the repo to see the source code and going throgh the help guides on github. These constantly talk about jekyll and how great it is so I gem install jekyll, destroyed everything in the repo and generated a new jekyll site.

Jekyll is awesome. It’s a static site generator that allows me to setup the site once and then write new blogposts in sublime. Once I’m done writing getting it up is as simple as git commit and git push. No fucking around in settings or with databases, just markdown files.

Anyway I grabbed twitter bootstrap to get started with some styles and threw disqus in there so you can tell me how wrong I am in all my choices. The whole affair was over in about 45 minutes which was mostly spent learning rather then frustratingly searching threw config settings. A much more pleasent experience then whenever I’ve dived into wordpress.