OMG That Blog is Old School!

Finally I'm free of my modern blog software that was slowing me down. I want to revisit some old articles and fix up some things. Doing it through a web interface seems less than idea for me. I like to work in my simple text editor on text files with all my familiar programming tools handy.

Now I have a text file for each article on my computer. For example, the text file for this article starts

Title: OMG This Blog is Old School!
Published: November 1, 2008
Content-Type: text/html

<p>Finally I'm free of my old Blog software.</p>

Yep, it is just a text file with headers and a body like an HTTP or STMP document. Simple.

The comment form submits to a Perl CGI script and I can add approved comments to each article manually. If this article has any comments they are just added to the article file separated by a row of equals symbols. For example,

Title: OMG This Blog is Old School!
Published: November 1, 2008
Content-Type: text/html

<p>Finally I'm free of my old Blog software.</p>

Name: Alpha
Date: 2008-11-01T10:00:08
Content-Type: text/html

<p>I like the stripped back look.
It lets the content breath.</p>

Name: Beta
Date: 2009-11-01T11:43:08
Content-Type: text/html

<p>Thumbs up!</p>

A build script generates the whole site from these files. The build file is only about 200 lines of code! My blog is no longer a giant Ruby on Rails web application gobbling up memory on my server. The site is just a bunch of static files so there is no big worry about a high traffic day.

More features on this blog will appear as time goes by. I'd like to have a page like a book index organized by article tags. I may also partner with Google for a search utility. I look forward to tuning things up a bit with some extra helper scripts.


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Nikola November 1, 2008
Nice idea, the content strikes back :)
keif November 2, 2008

I've been looking for something similar (and a friend is working on something similar) to what you're doing.

A nice & concise "developer's blog" that strips out all the crap that doesn't do much for us.

My only question - why partner with google? A search engine won't catch real time updates, so if you write an article, Google won't index it right away (then again, you may not care).

Either way, I'll be interested to see how this goes!

Peter Michaux November 2, 2008


You are right. There won't be real time updates with the Google search but that's ok with me. I don't think search on my blog is used so much that it is critical it is always accurate up to the minute. Building an intelligent search tool is a big job and Google has done a nicer job than any blog engine can do. I'm looking into the submitting a Sitemap to Google Webmasters Tools.

Michael Girouard November 2, 2008

I dig it. Static publishing is where it's at. I'm also in the process of separating myself from Wordpress and it has turned out to be much more work than I originally planned. This makes me wonder if there is a demand for web applications like this...

Peter Michaux November 2, 2008


I think Macromedia/Adobe have sold a copy or two of Dreamweaver. That is general purpose static building tool. I think Movable Type does static builds. There may be a market for specialized static-build CMS tools.

kourge November 3, 2008

Ditching Mephisto?

Peter Michaux November 2, 2008



Andrew November 3, 2008

Looks nice for me:

One feature request: Could you make the title of the blog (Peter's blog) clickable. I clicked it twice as if it was a logo and logos are clickable - that's the way the web works (from user point of view at least)

What about code highlighting? You can do that with some external JavaScript library and insert the link to every page with your building tool.

Anyway, great look. Reminds me good old days of reading Linux how-tos and JDK docs.

Where's Open Id Support, btw?

James November 7, 2008

Really liking it, it allows the user to focus more on the content and not get sidetracked by silly widgets and add-on features! Nice Idea...

How about some CSS though? Just to spruce things up a tad?

Betsy Buchanan February 24, 2009

Plain & Simple, what a concept!

Betsy Buchanan

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