Moving web hosts to Github

Moving web hosts to GitHub.

Ancient history

So, I’ve done a little bit of web stuff, mostly blogging, since the early 2000’s. I forget when I registered the domain blackrobes.net, but I was serving pages in-house from what was called ClarkConnect, now called ClearOS. ClarkConnect was/is a RedHat Linux based gateway, router, firewall. I installed MySQL for a database server and wrote hand-coded HTML pages for a blog.

One can hand-code HTML for only so long, and I searched for a blogging platform and ended up using b2 for a while, which eventually became WordPress. At the time, b2 and WordPress were small and simple, and I made some contributions to the code base.

Wordpress took off, became better but more complicated to use. It became popular very quickly. Plugins were introduced, and it became the target for site attacks. And each release became a little slower. (I think WP did a revamp of the core engine to increase responsiveness.) But I felt too removed from making things work. Maybe it’s a little bit hipster, but I wanted something new, different, faster, and lesser-known. During my WordPress era I moved the site from in-house servers to a hosted service, Just Host. They, like most hosting services, allow full access for scripting, database storage, and managing HTML.

In 2009-2010 I took a look at TextPattern, a CMS package structured around periodicals publishing. Security was managed in levels, such as writer, editor, publisher, and designer. They have clear roles in the software, and though I didn’t take advantage of them, I liked how the software was intended to be used. Site structure was managed in the CMS, with HTML templates called pages and reusable snippets called forms. The engine was context-aware, making pages and forms very powerful. I redeployed blackrobes.net in TextPattern in 2011.

Present day

I haven’t blogged much in recent years but changes in my life led me to start looking at technology again. I signed up with Tumblr (see me at http://glittergirlhanna.tumblr.com) for more of my “social” blogging. I also want something separate for more tech-y stuff. I read a story about a guy running his blog on a Raspberry Pi and noticed he was running Octopress. Octopress’ philosophy is to serve static content, instead of dynamically-generated content from TextPattern and WordPress. Octopress has documentation for deploying to various hosts, including GitHub. After reading other success stories with Octopress and GitHub, I decided to use that as my new blogging platform.

It took me a while today to get everything set up (I use a MacBook Air running Mountain Lion), since I’ve not used my command-line skills in several years. I want to learn more about Ruby, so having Octopress makes it nice to have example code.

The world is still spinning round

It seems I’ve come full-circle. I started off with hand-coded, static HTML files for my blog, went into several years of running a dynamic website, and now I’m back to creating static files. But this time I have help in the form of Markdown, Octopress, and GitHub. The more things change…

Ciao!