Blog Redesign

The new redesigned just went live - if you are reading this in RSS reader and would like to see what it looks like now, you can visit the site at

One change that you may notice immediately is a new theme. I dropped Cutline and switched to Carrington Text. I feel it helps me achieve better focus on content as opposed to surrounding presentation, and it’s better aligned with my goals for this site. I found Carrington theme by searching Google for “minimalist wordpress theme” - I think you’ll agree it’s quite minimalist, which is exactly what I was after.

But much more importantly, as a part of this facelift, I replaced the underlying technology as well. I no longer run Wordpress that has been powering my blog for nearly 2.5 years. Instead, I switched to Jekyll.

Jekyll is a blogging platform developed by Github for Github Pages. Its key feature is that it doesn’t use a database. All posts and pages are pregenerated from templates and can be served by any web server as a static web site.

There are many advantages to this approach, I think. Ability to edit posts in any editor (vi), ability to use external revision tracking system (git), ability to do bulk edits if necessary (sed/awk), ability to find things faster (grep) - these are just some of them. Very fast page load times are another benefit. And finally, not having to worry about hack attempts is another.

I found Wordpress to be simply too much for my needs. Last several times I upgraded, I didn’t get any significant changes for what I was using. Wordpress is a hugely popular publishing platform for dynamic web sites. But with roughly 2 posts a month and occasional comment here and there, it was never a good fit for me. As a result of a recent uptick in pageviews, I faced a choice of whether to add a caching layer or go pre-generated route (which, if you think about it, is just like caching but on filesystem instead of in memory), and settled on the latter.

Speaking about comments. I don’t have them for now. Because I appreciate time and effort of everyone who added comments in the past, I imported existing comments into the new system. But new posts are going to have no comments for now. If I ever decide I want comments back, I will hook up Disqus or something like this. In the meantime, Twitter is an excellent way to comment on my posts and a sure way to reach me fairly quickly. Alternatively, you can email me - my address is here.

To turn Jekyll into what I wanted for my blog, I had to make several changes. Nothing drastic, only small trivial pieces. I am planning to publish them soon, if anyone is interested.

With this announcement out of the way, I will return to regular programming later this month. Stay tuned!

Categories: blogging |