A new year, and a new incarnation of noisybox.net.
I've been wanting to do a rewrite for quite some time...probably over a year. The maintenance on the pyramid site was just crufty and I let it stagnate. I was also never happy with the custom css junk I hacked togehter, and the site was never very mobile friendly. Well, frankly, I think it looked terrible on mobile...and I wanted to change that.
After a couple of weeks of evaluating several popular static site generators, including jekyll, hexo, and hugo, I decided that none of them would work well for my needs. Granted, they are all fine projects and people have done and continue to do a stellar job of supporting and enhancing them...but in most cases they quickly began to feel limiting. In some cases, they feel frameworky and require the user to learn their internals in order to get nonstandard things accomplished. In other cases, the tools assume (or mandate) a specific way of working, likely based on assumptions.
In the case of jekyll, I think I added a paging blogs plugin and performance just absolutely cratered. Like by a factor of 10x or something. I dunno about you, but waiting 20+ seconds to verify a small content change sure isn't fun -- it's debilitating.
I had some high hopes for hugo. It was enjoyable to get started with and the performance definitely has that Go wow factor! I was a very bummed at how difficult it was to make small layout/theme changes...they have a ways to go there!
I really should have done a better job of documenting the pros and cons of each one, since I really did do a pretty in-depth evaluation of them...but alas, weeks have passed now and I didn't write things down and it's no longer fresh...and I no longer feel like revisiting them. So many other things to do.
As a result, I decided to write my own static site generator: prepply.
Maybe it's stupid to do such a thing, and perhaps nobody else will ever see value in it, since there are thriving communities around the existing tools. And I'm fine with that! But I also host it on github in case somebody else can learn from it or help to improve it or whatever.
Like so many personal projects, it's merely a first effort and is hacky and without tests. Shameful, I know. But I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out and remain excited about the idea of static site generation. You know...because everything old is new again. Or something. Maybe we didn't learn from the past. :)