Seven beginner’s thoughts on blogging with Jekyll

Themes are a nightmare. It’s a miracle they ever work

If you are lucky you can just copy the files in, but then you have to start messing around with Gemfiles and missing or duplicated _layout patterns and all sorts. I suppose attaching to Github is supposed to help with that? But that leads me to..

An obsession with Github

Yes, I know they are closely linked but it seems like you can’t go five minutes without having to “git the clone repo master branch” (or a similar sort of foreign language that Git users probably understand)

You have to be reasonably comfortable with troubleshooting to make any real progress

This is especially true when your operating system doesn’t behave like the tutorials say it will. I have no idea how many copies of Ruby I have installed now or where they live. I guess thats ok? Who knows.

Googling error messages is my friend again

So far I haven’t had to look at Ruby code. This is a good thing

One of the things that put me off most static generators in the first place was the fanatical nature of the platform they are built on. Fortunately, like all good software, I can “use” Jekyll without needing to know how it works under the hood – so far anyway.

Local development and testing works well

Being able to play with things live on my local machine is lovely. And I haven’t had to install a database!

Github hosting seems like it should be easier

Either I’m watching really complicated tutorials or getting static hosting working on Github Pages is like some kind of mysterious incantation. I haven’t really looked into this yet so maybe its easier. It doesn’t help that old tutorials come up but the actual process has been updated since they were published.

Yes, I am having FUN!

I used to install Linux on 386s and try and make winmodems and graphics cards work. So despite all my issues above, I am really enjoying tinkering with something and overcoming the challenges of making it go. I suspect that over time I’ll figure out all my issues and actually have a website I’m happy with.