Markdown Blog

It's been a while, but now my blog is up using a static HTML generator with Markdown as underlying format \o/ The static HTML is generated using a couple of small go scripts that wrap pandoc and go's text/template. Converting all of my WordPress posts to MarkDown was as fun as such a task can be, and quite tedious. However, it was still nice to read everything I have ever posted again and allowed me to take a more holistic view on everything I've done. It has definitely helped me with some life decisions this year.

I don't think this is the end of my efforts to improve this blog because I really should move off the go scripts at some point, and the content menu is very mobile-first (it only looks and works well on my phone screen). Moreover, source highlighting does not work either.

The biggest positive take-away, apart from finishing this mini-project, was that committing all intermediate outputs to a repository during the conversion really helped with moving fast. Every time I changed something in the scripts or in the Markdown code, I'd see how it trickles down. With disciplined reviewing, this allowed me to avoid random breakages, and it made debugging quite easy and cheap because SmartGit's differ would do most of the work for me.

I used the opportunity to learn and write some simple Go code. I am split on the language. It feels crude and lacking abstractions. Also, duck typing structural typing makes it harder to understand and explore code. On the other hand, I have been told all of this is intentional to keep things simple. Indeed, it was always straight-forward to get the code to do the things I want, with few surprises, even though it did usually not feel particularly elegant.

My time estimate for the conversion is that I've spent about 1 week for research, 1 week to convert the posts and 1 week to learn go and write the scripts. All of this was spread out over about 2 years with bursts of work now and then.

I'm not sure what the next steps are for this blog. It feels good to have it looked down in HTML and Markdown in a clean version that is easier to back up. I want to play around with other ways of publishing and organizing information. This blog can be a way to centralize all my efforts and keep pointers and write-ups.

Stay tuned! :-)