Moving to Octopress

I’ve decided to move, my not very often updated blog, to the new platform. I’ve made a choice to use Octopress blog engine. Octopress uses Jekyll, a static site generator in ruby, that basically takes bunch of templates files and produce a set of html pages. I could use Jekyll, but Octopress extends it with additional files, themes and plugins, so you can create your blog very fast with small effort.

Till now my blog was powered by Wordpress engine, so why I wanted to change it? The main reason is that Wordpress is quite complex engine (with many plugins and settings) that I’ve never fully understood. Changing something in it was more like hacking for me than full understandable programming. Additionally Wordpress uses mysql database to store posts which adds complexity to backup strategy - I needed to store all Wordpress files, plus database with posts. This is why I decided to change it.

What I like in Octopress:

  • simplicity - the whole blog can be generated by one command (rake generate), which creates a set of HTML and JavaScript files that can be uploaded to the server; by default Octopress supports Github Pages and Heroku, it can also uses rsync to deploy files to custom server.
  • customization - there are many plugins you can use (twitter and github integration for example) and the design of the blog can also be easily changed by tweaking Sass (*.scss) files.
  • beautiful, built-in code highlighter with support for many languages - it uses Solarized color scheme (light or dark) which looks great;
  • possibility of writing post as a simple text file, using markdown - you can create/edit them in your favorite text editor (Sublime Text is my choice);
  • easy backup - I store all files in a git repository;
  • a chance to work with ruby language - currently I’m trying to extend my knowledge about it, which gives me a lot of fun.

Finally I would like to say few words about my transition from Wordpress to Octopress. The migration process I’ve started from exporting all my posts from Wordpress to markdown files - I did it by using WordPress to Jekyll Exporter plugin. After this I’ve tweaked generated posts, installed default theme (I’ve changed it a little bit - my inspiration was darkstripes theme by Alessandro Melandri) and set base settings in _config.yml file. The final results you can see here, I hope you like it.

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