Disillusioned from static sites. What's a "traditional" architecture based, hack-able, blog-ready software I can experiment with?

Must be capable of parsing Markdown at a minimum as my content store (markdown files) is not going to change.

Maybe it's too much to ask for, but... 🤷‍♀️

@celia I see you were using Eleventy. What don't you like about it, or static sites in general? I was thinking about using it.

@tallblondeguy Oh it's really nice generally - it's a pretty poor fit for I think.

I'll either move or boot parts of IndieWeb at some point. ™ Or maybe not. Kind of in a discovery phase right now.

@celia Why is it a poor fit for the indie web?

I'm interested in this topic: I want the security/scalability/simplicity of a static page, but I also would love to be hooked into the fediverse, which is...definitely a competing goal.

@tallblondeguy I'm unhappy with the several-minutes long build times. Granted it's because I have lazy loading, responsive imgs, and other such plugins.

is my server, and it doesn't syndicate natively (coming soon).

Webmentions don't show until next build. No moderation. I'm not happy with a static + JS mix here as I want everyone to see the same webmentions!

If you're looking at fedi, I think ActivityPub is what you are interested in, not IndieWeb so much?

@tallblondeguy There are features I think a bit hard to build into an SSG itself.

@celia Still learning my terms, I guess.

Thanks for all of this!

@tallblondeguy Someone mentioned, I think that's a decent starting point for federation even though I don't quite like it myself so much yet. :)

@celia @tallblondeguy I found too limiting, so I migrated everything over to Jekyll. I've been really liking it.

@celia @tallblondeguy I switched from Jekyll (ruby) to Pelican (python) and site compile time went from over minute to near instant. That was satisfying.

@tomosaigon @tallblondeguy I think my primary bottleneck isn't the framework but all the nice and shiny tools I've got going. Once it ships with support for incremental builds, I should be good.

I took a look through all my code yesterday, and I'm in absolutely no position to do a migration right now!

@celia @tallblondeguy If build time is the primary problem, have a look at Hugo, which is significantly faster.

@celia seems to be pretty good, federated, markdown based, I'm using to use it, and it works nice for my use at least.

@mpjgregoire Hmm...Perl...that's another daunting language to learn before feeling comfortable. Thanks for the shout!

@celia I used to run #pyblosxom , similar but in Python. Unfortunately it's no longer being maintained.


@celia I've just started to use this with gray-matter, it's great.

I'd recommend Eleventy as well, even though the output is heavier than it should be somehow.

@arh recommended Emacs with org-mode too.

@zenpanic Interesting. Do you think Next.js would allow me to build a small-ish admin area of sorts? For things like approving or deleting webmentions?

Also I'm guessing this is 100% React for my site source if I use it?

@zenpanic I've also read about stupid fast incremental builds already being available, which would cut the build times to next to nothing? Is that a thing with Next?

@zenpanic lol sorry for a bunch of questions btw, hope you're able to answer, if not, that's fine. I'll eventually do more research. :)

@celia Ah, there's the 'react-markdown' npm package too, to use with gray-matter.

@celia It does read Markdown with the npm package 'gray-matter', that's what I'm using and it's pretty easy to set up.

@celia @zenpanic Using Next.js for my blog with markdown files! See (github at the bottom)

@SeanPedersen96 @zenpanic Oh source code! for this Next.js stuff I've got my weekend jam I guess. :)

@celia Yes it would, with Next you can even make a hybrid system, where some routes are purely static (entirely generated at build time, including the data fetching stored in json by default) and other dynamics on the same app. But yeah, your source code will be React, even though quite simple for this kind of project.

It also comes with incremental static regeneration, so it doesn't rebuild everything when you add fetched content like posts.

@zenpanic Superb! Thank you! I'll study how to get this done and if its worth the move.

@zenpanic One last question, are you doing anything to programmatically update your Markdown generated HTML before it turns into the final user-facing HTML?

@celia I'm not sure what you mean. I've written a post-layout component which fetches the posts (in markdown) in their directory at build time and structure them the way I want. Once it's built there are plain HTML files that don't need to be modified, before that it's just a React component and a directory full of .md files.

@zenpanic So Eleventy has plugins that can change the HTML content at build-time... such as adding attributes, classes and so on based on defined criteria. I really like this! My plain markdown images get lazy-loaded and become responsive automatically! I wondered if something like this would be possible for Next.js?

@zenpanic @celia take a look at to see how's the result. His website is completely made by org-mode.

@arh It's pretty neat, and the page really is light. Is there a specific language to use it?

@celia remember taking a look at this in the past, could be the solution you are looking for:

@ithor Hmm...I think I'll just be moving sideways here. Thanks for the suggestion!

@celia oh ok, I think I misread the toot, sorry!

What part do you want to hack?

My favorite is Hugo, it is fast, simple to install, and can be made to do just about anything.

Some people might find that it does too much and in places a bit over-engineered, but ... I like it. 🤷

2c Monday recommendation

#webdev #hugo

@qwxlea I'm aware of Hugo but that'll just be moving sideways again... from one SSG to another. :/ Thanks for the recommendation tho!

@celia How about Jekyll? I managed to run it without much knowledge about Ruby.

@huy_ngo Ooo. I had moved from Jekyll to Eleventy. But what I'm trying to find is an ideaological in-between of WordPress and Ghost I think. 😅

@celia The only platform that consistently comes up against WP is ghost, but latest major version seems anemic and weird. Now that I think about it, I don't remember it using markdown either.

I've looked for something a long time also. Actually giving dokuwiki another chance as a 'garden and stream' type of site. Save the wiki markup language (especially headings, ugh) I'm feeling good about it so far.

@bhart @celia Ghost (at least the last time that I used it) can parse markdown text, but not read directly from Markdown files. Same with WordPress.

I’m not sure there is anything that does. Most of the traditional ones have a database backend.

@jamie @bhart @celia I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Ghost are kind of against the whole indieweb thing and won’t be supporting it. I’ll try and look the article up...

@kev @jamie @bhart Hmm... yeah not quite as bad!

I took a look through my existing code yesterday, and I'm in absolutely no position to do a migration right now. But Ghost has been teasing me now and then. I wish the Indieweb tooling was more mature. I would have definitely loved to explore this.

@celia > I wish the Indieweb tooling was more mature.

That's exactly why I ended up ditching it. It's a fantastic concept, but it's just too much of a headache to keep track off.

I'm currently playing around in, not sure if I'm going to sign up for a membership though, I'm stuggling to find the value add over Mastodon.

@jamie @bhart

@kev @celia @jamie @bhart
> it's just too much of a headache to keep track off

I'd love to hear what you find troubling. I hardly think about my indieweb setup. It Just Works™. Granted, I don't do everything indieweb-possible, but that's the beauty of it. It's incremental.

@binyamin it’s not that I found it troubling as such, it’s just the amount of moving parts that make it (in my opinion) over-complicated and confusing. The webmention setup, a h-card, all the microformats markup, the indieAuth stuff. It’s a lot of extra “stuff” that basically amounts to comments on the front end.

@celia @jamie @bhart

@uoya Me too. I have most of it working, but it’s by far the bit of my site that I understand the least, there are far too many components and I never feel like I’m doing it ‘right’.

@kev @bhart @binyamin @celia

@jamie exactly. Luckily I never had any issues with it, but if I had, I'd have no clue where to start as the 'stack' is so complicated.

@binyamin @celia @bhart @uoya

@kev Why not only display webmentions? That doesn't really require upkeep. In fact, paired with, it's basically just the "a" in JAMstack (API). I do agree that much of the indieweb stuff is overcomplicated. I like webmentions simply because it's easy comments without a database.

@celia @jamie @bhart

@binyamin @kev @celia @jamie @bhart I agree with this sentiment.

Incoming Webmentions (via + PlaidWeb/webmention.js), microformats2 (just markup templating), and account linking (via are pretty much set-and-forget. 🤔

And even though they are 3rd-party services, they're run and maintained by the IndieWebCamp folks themselves.

Add a webring for good measure and you get *at least* a tertiary discovery network with zero upkeep IMHO.

@kev @celia @jamie @bhart I think a neat middle ground might be using something like Bridgy to pull replies off Mastodon and display them as web mentions

@bhart @celia wow - I never heard the "garden and stream" analogy before - that is a great one!

I remember trying to cobble together a "personal wiki and blog" hybrid by storing the wiki in git and deriving the "blog view" from the commit messages, but that never really panned out. Perhaps it is worth another try now that microblogging is a thing :D

(was it coined in ? Haven't digested it yet but looks good)

@raboof I don't know if that's the original source, but it's one of the more comprehensive.

I really like the garden concept, it seems to better motivate me to write. I struggle with the temporary/chronological aspect of blogging.

@bhart they both have their strengths - gardening can be rather lonely compared to e.g. mastodon, but on the other hand a stream is so ephemeral. I wonder if a good marriage is possible.

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