Articles in Playground

  1. Bye Bye WordPress, Welcome Pelican!

    A new era for Scott Yang's Playground -- I am moving this off WordPress (which I migrated over from Movable Type almost 10 years ago.

    WordPress, IMHO, is just getting too heavy as a blogging platform that it once was. It is now a full blown content management system that can probably be used to construct 90% of the websites out there. In fact it has got so complex and with plugins that do almost-everything under the sun, I don't feel like I can keep up with the frequency of all the updates. Not just the core, but also all the plugins that you have installed. Almost got burnt by this one here on an installed-but-not-used plugin that was just 2 versions out.

    Keeping the software updated also got harder, when you are not that into blogging anymore. With only 13 entries this year (and 10 from previous years) this blog is far from its hey days (500+ entries in 2004).

    Not to mention the comment spams. Yes Akismet caught a lot of them, but still plenty slipped through. I have no idea why so many people wish to converse on this dying blog - turns out all they want to do is to inject a spammy link.

    So that's it. I'm done here with WordPress and I am moving to statically generated website that I can just drop in some directory and forget. No, nothing to do with being one of the cool kids, but being a Python developer I naturally picked Pelican as my new site generator.

    So far so good,

    • Installation is trivial with virtualenv and pip.
    • I have to write a script that takes a WordPress export RSS to individual output files.
    • Templating is also easy with Jinja2 that's been used by many frameworks.
    • I have not yet finalised on the publishing work-flow, as I'm currently just rsync the output files to the web-server. git integration coming soon.

    So far so good.

    Certainly one of my hope for 2014 is getting back to blogging again. Writing keeps me thinking (rather than just being "busy" doing things), and there are so many things that are worthwhile getting recorded down.

  2. Playground Site Conversion

    Well. It is the time of the year again. End of November, beginning of December - and that was when the last incarnation of "Scott Yang's Playground" was created. After the whole year of Wiki, I am starting to get bored of it. I still want a website that capture my thoughts, but I found Wiki might not be the easiest way doing it. It is fine for writing documents, which I might continue using it for that purpose. However, doing a weblog using Wiki is just too much trouble.

    I have been using MovableType for the past few weeks, and the result has been great. It is an interesting experience. With a desktop tool w.bloggar, I can fire up the app, write/type something download, and then publish on the web instantly. Now I can say that I have really experienced the power of blogging, and it is so irresistable. Therefore I finally decide that I am going to make another port of the site to MovableType...

    Playground is currently getting around 100 visitors a day because it has some already established content. I will take me a while for me to port all the content to blogs so meanwhile I will run MT and Wiki in parallel. We'll see how it goes.