My blog framework wishlist

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="//" 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!

Portrait photo of Bodo Tasche
Bodo Tasche
Polyglot Developer

I am a freelance polyglot developer and love HTML5, testing, JavaScript, Ruby and Elixir. In the last 20 years I have been in lots of different roles, from Java to Elixir, from backend developer at a 3 people team in an early phase startup to the CTO of a web agency. Some of my work can be seen on my projects page.

Need help developing your MVP or to add new features into your current app? Need a CTO or a front/backend developer for hire? Send me an email.