My blog framework wishlist

07 Apr 2013

I am now using Octopress for my blog. Was it an easy switch? No. Was it worth it? Totally. I love working in Markdown. Getting rid of the hack that was called a Markdown Wordpress plugin made my day.

Do I like Octopress? Yes and no. Yes, because now I can write my stuff in Markdown. No, because Octopress feels weird.

  • To install plugins, I have to manually copy ruby files into my blog and add them to my repo. If I want to update them, I have to do that again.
  • If the plugin needs stylesheets to do it's job, I have to copy those files into other directories.
  • There are only a few themes, and creating new themes is not very easy.

Basically it feels like I am doing everything manually. Welcome to Pre-Wordpress blogging.

I also looked at other static site generators, but they all had different flaws. The most common one: they try to parse HTML as XML. Why this is a problem? Just look at the embed code that vimeo is giving you:

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/16287115" width="650" height="366" 
  frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

Do you see the allowFullScreen? That's a boolean attribute. Yes, it is legal HTML code, but would break any XML parser.

Long story short: never ever parse HTML with a XML parser that can't handle that.

So, what does a good static site generator blog framework look for me?

Like this:

  • Uses markdown
  • Doesn't parse HTML output as XML inside of the framework
  • Plugins as external references[1]. And plugins can bring css with them that can be overwritten by the theme of the user
  • Themes as external references[1]
  • Possibility to overwrite parts of the theme (HTML, CSS, ...)
  • Live preview with a local server
  • Deploy via RSync and Github
  • The layout should be rendered via Sass/Haml or CSS/Erb or ... (just make it pluggable wink )
  • Can understand Timezones and doesn't render new URLs when I am in a different time zone.
  • I18n support

1: For example as gems or github links

Do you know a blogging framework that does most of this? If yes, please add it as a comment!

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