zerosum dirt(nap)

evolution through a series of accidents

zerosum dirt(nap)

More Jekyll, Less Hyde

October 30, 2010 by nap · Comments

This blog has been running Mephisto since 2007 or thereabouts. And it seems like the Mephisto project has been dead for just about that long too (check that link if you don’t believe me). So that’s awesome. But such is life… and open source.

Dr Jekyll

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to migrate my blog over to something else for quite some time. Switching is of course a pain in the butt so I’d been puting it off, but the decommissioning of the server host this blog used to run on was finally the shove that I needed. After evaluating a few blog engine and hosted service options, I decided to go with Jekyll . Why? Because it’s simple, static, and seems to be pretty fad-proof at this point. Also, it’s Halloween. So it’s thematic. I considered moving stuff to Tumblr or Posterous, but the import process proved to be an obstacle. And not Halloweeny at all. In the end, Jekyll was clearly the simplest and most malleable solution, and so here we are.

Moving wasn’t too too painful. I whipped up a few scripts to yank the data I needed out of Mephisto and then spent a few extra hours cleaning up some sloppiness and making sure all the permalinks still worked. I ported the NH Ruby blog and a few other small sites that were running on a Mephisto multi-site install at the same time. I really wanted a pure Git workflow for easy deployment, so I created some post-receive hooks that auto-deploy the latest changes when someone pushes to origin/production. And because a few other people needed to be able to post to the other sites, I figured I’d set up Gitolite, which makes managing access control for such things crazy easy.

The only thing that didn’t make the transition is old blog comments. I went with Disqus for the new site because I wanted to keep everything static and simple (avoiding lock-in to yet blog package that may or may not ever be updated again), and importing the Mephisto comments into Disqus was just too much of a pain to justify the time. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the new setup. If you find anything that’s broken please let me know. Maybe if I get some free time over the next couple days I’ll document the Gitolite + Jekyll deployment config. I imagine that it’s not completely unlike a minimalist version of what the GitWrite guys had to do for their (awesome!) Rails Rumble entry this year. And yeah, I probably could have just used them too. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier ;-).

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