Blue Skies Above Us

Trying Jekyll

Why Jekyll

I know I recently said I switched from Wordpress to Hugo for this site. Well, now I’m trying Jekyll. As far as I care, Jekyll was the first popular static site generator (SSG) and still ranks among the most popular (seems to be neck and neck with Hugo). The benefit - to me - of a popular one is that there are lots of nice themes and good documentation. I went straight to Hugo when I started making SSG sites. I like Hugo, but I am unfamiliar with Go (the language behind it), while I am more familiar with Ruby, the language behind Jekyll. So I thought it would make more sense to have a ruby-based site. After using Jekyll, I’m still on the fence about that. I definitely like having plugins (ruby gems) available when I want to add features. But overall the language syntax doesn’t seem all that different than Go. Both are pretty easy to understand.

With all my posts in markdown files, it’s trivial to hop between Hugo and Jekyll. So I plopped all my posts into a Jekyll theme, customized it a bit, and then uploaded the site files to my server. The biggest issue is getting comments to work. I haven’t tackled that yet.

My Feelings

When people compare Hugo and Jekyll, they usually say “they both use similar ‘Front Matter’ in the markdown, similar config files, etc. The main difference is that Hugo is much faster.” My experience bears this out. Note that the speed is referring to “building” the site while you’re developing it. They’re not talking about page loading speeds.

When I started with this Chirpy theme, build time was about 35 seconds. So each time I edited a file and saved it, it would take 35 seconds to finish refreshing stuff. That’s a long time! Hugo would take like 1 second. I ended up shaving off a lot of features from the theme that I didn’t want/need, and without really trying too hard I got that build time down to about 8 seconds. And I’m sure I can reduce it further.

This theme is fancier than I need, but I like the design of it. I still need to add comments and add more visible links to the music blog.

I’ll keep messing with it.


I’ve added back the comments, and a commenting system (using Staticman). Feels nice to have comments back in here. I got so many comments on the music posts!

I feel like a grump because I’m stripping so much stuff out of this theme. Table of contents on posts in the right sidebar? Don’t need them! Little tooltip thingies? Nope! A button to “jump to top of page”? Useless! Even if these things aren’t really bloating the site, for some reason I just don’t want them. They’d probably make the site cooler if I kept them in!

I rejiggered the right sidebar so that when you are reading a music blog post, the sidebar lists all the other music posts. I’ll do the same for comics.

I also want to add more imagery (like panels from comics or something), just so the site feels more me.

I might continue to edit this post.

I also want to write some less techy posts soon. This blog is looking kind of robotic.

Querying and Converting OSM PBF to Postgresql Using GDAL

Away Away

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Founded 2005. Over the years I've posted writing, comics, ringtones, and stuff about maps, bikes, programming, pinball. And I had a robust music blog mostly about '90s hardcore punk (category = music).