jekyll the programmers blog engine

I have been using Wordpress quite some time now, and even though I don’t blog often, I’ve had a lot of friction working with wordpress to publish blogs (even though I don’t post often). I think the main reason for the friction is because of the fact that I am a programmer and my desire to control the formatting and stuff of a blog post. Wordpress allows you to enter the raw html code, but it doesn’t work out correctly most of the times, by the time I preview the changes and come back to the html view my painfully crafted html seems to be lost. And this problem is compounded by the fact that I post code snippets(By the time I finish editing the blog post, my code snippet would get html encoded 4 times). I’ve tried windows live writer too, I must say it’s a very good product. But, what I was really looking for was something which would get out of my way when I wanted to post a blog. And that’s what jekyll does. From jekyll’s home page:

Jekyll is a simple, blog aware, static site generator. It takes a template directory (representing the raw form of a website), runs it through Textile or Markdown and Liquid converters, and spits out a complete, static website suitable for serving with Apache or your favorite web server.

Jekyll is a shiny gem(no pun intended) which is not known to many people. Jekyll does exactly what I need, It allows me to write up blog posts in a plain text editor like Vim. And all I have to do to publish a post, is, put the text file which has the contents of the post in a specific folder and run jekyll, that’s all. Moreover jekyll allows you to use pygments for formatting any code snippets you want, It also allows you to write your blog code using markdown or textile. And lastly jekyll actually generates the final html content of your blog posts. So no more database roundtrips and no more crazy performance problems, Your webserver just serves these static html pages which is crazy fast. I hope this change allows me to blog more often(Now that I am free from the shackles of wordpress :) ).

I am currently working on LiveForm which makes setting up contact forms on your website a breeze.