Sometimes simpler is better.
After being away from Orbital for a bit, I started revving my engines a bit by trying a new project on the subway and hacknight. Project Munchausen is about doing some writing and exploring some ideas – so I tried to get myself away from doing too much programming on it. Since it is just writing, I wanted to avoid falling into the trap of using a big content management system like WordPress.
I started exploring with the first Static Site Generator I know of: Jekyll. Jekyll powers the Pages feature on GitHub. I got really far, but felt really constrained. It felt like Jekyll was trying to push me to turn my site into a blog, like the downhill path of Jekyll was to create a blog.
I didn’t want to create a blog – I want to make something that’s an exploration of a subject. It will change over time, so it should have an RSS feed generated, but I didn’t want to only have a timeline view of things.
I don’t know how I happened on Hugo but it seemed perfect. The templates are simple, Go is a pretty simple language to use, and the organization of the content is really easy to understand.
In Hugo, you have a directory named content. Under that directory, any other directories are Sections. Content goes in a section as a Markdown file. Templates can iterate over those sections and their contents. Easy peasy.
So far, I’ve gotten farther with Hugo in a few subway rides than I have with long sessions wrangling Jekyll. My goal is to put something up on the web in a month.