Setting up the new blog
Previously I was writing a blog using the following: Emacs + Org-Mode + Jekyll. Here is a short assessment of that setup:
Emacs tries to pack as much functionality as possible without the need for external dependencies
Org-Mode allows you to have runnable code blocks and include the results of said code blocks inside the rendered version of the documents. The active document concept is really nice (but nowadays that’s also achievable with Jupyter)
Org-Mode has a very complex setup for publishing articles that requires too much configuration
The org-mode caching mechanisms are rather complex and require a lot of configuration to get right
Jekyll is quite slow for rendering pages from markup
Emacs as an editor can get quite heavy and slow after adding different modes to it
All the configuration problems that Emacs and Org-Mode generate really take up a lot of time. They can definitely be solved but they take up time.
Reading some more I came across these two quotes:
This is the Unix philosophy: Write programs that do one thing and do it well.
Our philosophy is about keeping things simple, minimal and usable. We believe this should become the mainstream philosophy in the IT sector. Unfortunately, the tendency for complex, error-prone and slow software seems to be prevalent in the present-day software industry.
[..]Ingenious ideas are simple. Ingenious software is simple. Simplicity is the heart of the Unix philosophy. The more code lines you have removed, the more progress you have made. https://suckless.org/philosophy/
If we’re looking at Emacs or Org-Mode, they don’t seem to follow any of those principles and are really at the opposite pole. They’re monolithic pieces of software that are trying to do a lot.
I recently noticed that Github Pages is quite mainstream nowadays, so I thought of giving it a try.
Together with Github Deploy Actions it actually automates a lot of the workflow nicely and I’m actually able to just write markup in asciidoc and push to the blog repo and have it be compiled and see the changes soon after.
What I’m noticing is Asciidoc as a markup format requires much less customizations. The documentation for it is very clear too.
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