Technologies: Middleman, Sass, Slim

Why Did I Make This?

I had three goals in mind when I rebuilt the site from Jekyll to Middleman:

This site was originally built with Jekyll, which was a fine introduction into building static sites. But I found Jekyll limiting, in part because it was created as a blogging engine, but this site isn’t a blog. I think of it more as a place that I own that I use to point to where else on the internet you can find me, and also as a bit of a resume.

Because of this, I found myself working around Jekyll more than using its strengths. While attending the Madison Ruby Conference this summer, I was introduced to Middleman, a general-purpose static-site builder. I was intruiged by its simplicity, but also its built-in features like its asset pipeline, cache busting, and its ease of extension. By contrast, I found Jekyll very hard to extend in any meaningful way.

With this foundation in place, I can start more incremental teaks to the site, like maybe writing a bit more in the brand-new Notes section or maybe move my presentations themselves off of their own Jekyll site and into this single codebase.

What Did I Learn?

The most obvious thing I learned was the Middleman toolchain. My initial goal was to port over the existing site more-or-less intact, which was shockingly easy to accomplish because of Middleman’s ease-of-use.

I did make one change, breaking my presentations into their own section, rather than being shoehorned into “projects”. To keep old URLs working, I learned more about Nginx redirects.

Posted 2014-01-01 in Projects.