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New Blog Setup!

I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like to switch my blog away from Jekyll & to something Org-mode based.

Ever since I switched back to Emacs, I’ve felt that I should be doing more with Org, as it seems really powerful, but it always seem too complex for me. However, I’ve been using it to do my lecture notes when I teach at Lighthouse and it’s really started to grow on me, to the point where writing things in Markdown was getting increasingly annoying.

I also wanted to make my blog not just look like the default Jekyll template and kinda wanted to get off Github pages. The main obstacle was that I just wasn’t entirely sure how to set up a blog to run on Org – I couldn’t seem to find something that was like Jekyll for Org that looked easy enough to use to get me over the hump. Luckily, I came across this great article by Pierre Heidhardt about his setup and it seemed to be exactly what I wanted, even including some code to generate an RSS feed!

There were a few things I needed to tweak, but it is much easier to just edit some Emacs Lisp than it would be to crawl in the guts of Jekyll to figure out how to make it do what I want.

I’m also hosting this on one of my own servers, just building the HTML from Org locally and rsync’ing it up, so now I feel like I actually own my blog, instead of it living on a Github Pages server somewhere (and now I actually have the ability to see if anyone else actually reads this, without having to inflict Javascript analytics on anyone, because I just have server logs).

I did break all my old links, because Jekyll forced the URLs to refer to the date of publication, which I didn’t really want to keep, but as far as I know literally no-one reads this, so that shouldn’t matter.

I’m hoping the RSS feed will work reasonably, but I see other RSS feeds do weird republishing things often enough that I don’t feel too bad if that happens here too (and again, I am pretty sure no-one reads this).

I have to say, I am pretty happy to have a blog that feels like something I can tinker with again. It may very well not be the best use of time to convert a bunch Markdown to Org, but it’s something that makes me feel more ownership and pride over this silly blog thing, so I’m hoping it will lead to me puttting more and better work here. Time will tell!