I’ve always been a big fan of static websites, for mainly two reasons: simplicity and security. Simplicity, because why have a complex software on the server when the content is updated at most once or twice a month? Security, because the most secure lines of code are the ones that have never been written.
In 2002, nothing was really existing to easily generate a static website, so I wrote an Eclipse plugin, Stylo Plume, to help me accomplish this. And since the year was 2002, and I was working a lot with XML and XSL, I used XSLT.
Fast forward 13 years later. I still think a static website is what I need, but I’m getting tired of XSLT, and I really don’t feel like testing and potentially fixing my plugin with Java 8 and the Eclipse 4 branch. So I started looking at some static site generators, and I stumbled upon a post from Tom Preston-Werner that sums up nicely my feelings:
I already knew a lot about what I didn’t want. I was tired of complicated blogging engines like WordPress and Mephisto. I wanted to write great posts, not style a zillion template pages, moderate comments all day long, and constantly lag behind the latest software release. Something like Posterous looked attractive, but I wanted to style my blog, and it needed to be hosted at the domain of my choosing. For the same reason, other hosted sites (wordpress.com, blogger.com) were disqualified.
Tom Preston-Werner is the creator of Jekyll, and after 2 weeks to migrate the source of my site, I can say that I’m now a happy user.