fd Blog

Daniel Hilgarth on software development

Blog Setup

As many others starting a blog with a static blog generator, I will dedicate the first posts to talking about my setup.

When I decided to finally start a blog, I had one main requirement the blogging engine had to fulfill:
I wanted to write my posts in Markdown. Being a rather active Stack Overflow contributor, I became fond of and fluent in it.

Another requirement was that I wanted to be able to easily deploy new posts as well as the blog itself. The latter ruled out everything with a database.

My research lead me to the family of static blog generators. As I just started being a blogger, I hadn’t heard about them before, but when I finally learned about them, I knew: That’s what I want, too!
No database, no PHP or CGI. Just plain old HTML with a bit of JavaScript!

Because I am really not much of a designer, and don’t really have the time to configure every little detail, I wanted a solution that worked out of the box and came preloaded with themes and all the infrastructure needed to start writing posts right away.
It was clear that I would still have to do some customizations, but at least I would start with something I can customize!

Googling brought me to Ruhoh and Octopress, which I wanted to evaluate both.
Initially, I leaned towards Ruhoh, but that changed after trying to install it.
Being totally new to Ruby I just couldn’t get bundle install to succeed. I invested several hours and tried to install it on both Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12 but it just didn’t want to work, so I gave up on it.
I still don’t know if I might have liked it better than Octopress, but because I am happy with Octopress, I guess I will never know…

After my Windows was already setup with Ruby and DevKit from my attempts to install Ruhoh, the Octopress installation went smoothly - well almost:
Be sure to not use Ruby 2 and DevKit 4.7. Instead use the versions linked above. Using the wrong versions gave me compiler errors when executing bundle install.

This gave me an installation that allowed me to immediately write my first post. Nice!