There’s a lot of buzz from the hipsters about static site generation using Python and Ruby tools. A few that I just overheard while standing in line at Starbucks:
- Octopress – “A blogging framework for hackers”
- Tinkerer – “Blogging for Pythonistas”
Despite being popular almost exclusively with hipsters, I can see the allure to static sites: no databases, blazing fast load times, focus on content, write blog posts in vim, push blog posts via git, etc…
Playing with Pelican
Because there are too many choices, and because I know at least one cool guy using it, I decided to give Pelican a try. Here’s a quick run through of a setup I did on my Arch Linux box; the steps should be mostly the same for other GNU/Linuxes, so extrapolate accordingly.
$ pacman -S python-virtualenv
Create a workspace:
$ mkdir -p ~/src/git/blog $ cd ~/src/git/blog
Anywhere will do, but as I intend to version mine in git, I’ll keep it where I keep my other git projects…
Create and prepare a virtual environment (with Pelican and Markdown):
$ virtualenv -p python2.7 . $ source bin/activate $ pip install Pelican==3.2 Markdown
Run the quickstart:
Answer the questions as best you can… it’s not terribly important. All it’s doing is basically creating your
pelicanconf.py, which is dead simple to fix manually later.
Create some content,
Title: My first post Date: 2013-07-10 22:33 Category: Pelican Tags: pelican, publishing Slug: my-first-post Author: Alan Orth Summary: My first post using Pelican This is my first post using Pelican. Now have a list! * Linux * ??? * profit! Great success!
$ make devserver
This basically runs the
develop_server.sh script and then sends the server to the background (
Ctrl-C won’t kill it). You can also use
make stopserver and various other invocations of either to start/stop the server.
The long-term idea is that we, the Nairobi GNU/Linux Users Group, will:
- make a Nairobi GNU/Linux organization on GitHub
- add a repository for the blog contents
- add LUG members to the organization, with push access to the blog repo
I’m not sure if we’ll use Pelican or how we’ll get the static content to the server where nairobilug.or.ke currently points… but it sounds like a super fun, democratic way to get the community involved in blogging about GNU/Linux activities in Kenya, learn about git, etc. Hell, we could even redirect the nairobilug.or.ke site to Github and just host the blog there via GitHub Pages à la Martin Brocchaus…
Anyways, wish us luck!