Tumblr WordPress

Automattic ❤️ Day One

John Philpin: “There’s so much Automattic could have done to improve Tumblr – they didn’t …

I was just wondering what was going on at Tumblr. At one point I’d put links to my blog posts out on Tumblr, then I kind of forgot about it. That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

I hope they’re still working on their transition plan to use WordPress as the backend to Tumblr.



“The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…” – Nigel Tufnel, 1984

And so goes the story. This site isn’t yet eleven, but I’ve been weblogging for just over eleven years (post #1). Strange how I forgot to mention that at the beginning of the month. Eleven short years.

I started my weblog in hopes I’d become a better writer. I just don’t have that gene. Maybe someday I’ll write something worth reading. Until then, you’re stuck with movie lines and random, poorly structured posts, with lots of commas.


Jekyll, fully baked?

Tom Preston-Werner: “On Sunday, October 19th, I sat down in my San Francisco apartment with a glass of apple cider and a clear mind. After a period of reflection, I had an idea. While I’m not specifically trained as an author of prose, I am trained as an author of code. What would happen if I approached blogging from a software development perspective? What would that look like?”

Tom is the co-founder of GitHub, so you know the guys has coding chops. Jekyll is a very cool, very minimal, publishing system. I did some reading last night and was pretty excited about his ideas, but where it goes off the rails for me is using git to store your posts. It’s so close to something I could build upon.

Watch out! It's a blog fly!I think it’s time to go create my own publishing system. Why? Because I can and I want to. No better reason than that. This is a great excuse to learn Ruby. I don’t believe I’ll need Rails, all I need is a system that can publish a file into a directory structure after generating a static HTML file from Markdown, or maybe raw HTML as the source, it doesn’t matter. Once I have that I can build a simple web UI for entering posts from any device and I’ll bolt on support for the MetaWeblog API so I can use the desktop tool I like; MarsEdit.

That’s all I really need. A couple of apps that live on the server, one that generates the weblog, and one that can receive MetaWeblog requests and run the thing that generates the weblog. That’s the 30,000 foot view, it’s only slightly more complex than that.

Will I ever get around to doing it? Probably not. This would make at least the third weblogging/publishing system I’ve dreamed up in the last 10 years of weblogging, but it’s also the easiest to implement. All three were going to be static publishing systems. That’s still something I obsess about, dynamic just doesn’t matter to me.

Well what about widgets and comments? Good question. I have an answer. I don’t care about widgets that add dynamic content. I have a very small set of requirements. Look at this weblog today. What dynamic content do I have? Yep, my last tweet is displayed, what else? Nothing! That’s the beauty of it. As for comments I could use Disqus. Problem solved.

I want to create a system anyone could install on their own servers and use. created Second Crack to fill his weblogging needs but it’s a bit too hackerish for me, unless he’s taken it to the next level recently? I don’t know, but like Marco I want something just complex enough to fill my needs. I’d also like it to be simple enough to install and use that others could enjoy it without being developer minded.

It’s nice to write it down, but I doubt I’ll ever have time to develop it.


Fully Baked Weblog Software

Sprinkle DonutBrent Simmons: “I think the new technique web developers — or weblog developers, at least — ought to learn is static rendering: writing files to disk rather than building from a database on every request.”

I’ll have to track the progress on this font. It’s what I wanted when I switched from Blogger to WordPress about a year ago. I wanted the ability to generate static files on disk. WordPress generates your weblog from database entries. Static is king!

It’s not like I’m ever going to get Fireballed, I haven’t had over 1000 visits in a day since the early days of weblogging, but it’s something that interests me.