Keeping up with the Minimalists

Aka new site who dis?

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve joined the static site generator glitterati. Hooboy it was not easy. I updated my version of Ruby so Jekyll would stop giving me warnings and it had the unwanted side effect of completely breaking my Ruby environment. It took me a full day to recover. You Ruby dev types have all my admiration.

A couple of notes on the migration: I tried so very hard to migrate the comments from my old WordPress blog to Disqus, but I just could not get it to work. I’m a lover of the early web when people still wrote comments on blogs. I didn’t have very many on my own blog, so it’s not that big of a hardship, but still. I did try. It was an instance of when some blog post makes it look super easy but then you can’t find anything to address the very specific error you are encountering, even though you activated and reactivated all the plugins and followed all the other troubleshooting advice, whether or not it was relevant. I’ll just conclude by observing tranquilly that commenting has been disabled on my new site.

There are still a few kinks to iron out, mostly having to do with the way images are displaying. I’m pretty excited by the way the theme I’m using handles galleries and header images, but I haven’t gotten around to updating all my old posts.

Mostly, I did this to get better at using Jekyll, which many digital humanists use to quickly spin up sites for projects and teaching. I’d like to have much greater flexibility in my web development work, and not be quite so reliant on WordPress and Omeka, not that those CMSs are not also great. The promise of minimal maintenance and minimal internet was also a key part of the appeal for me.1 Although I obviously cannot attest to a “minimal learning curve.” I can only hope that the maintenance costs will eventually offset the high set-up tax, and that I’ll know better how to escape Ruby version hell later on.