Blog

Hello world - sent from my new blog

This is my first real post to a blog (keep reading to see why). I have tried to start several in the past but have ultimately failed before deploying any solution. This may be a great topic to touch on for all new bloggers out there!

My Experience

There have been about 5 different methods I started using then abandoned before finishing. Each experience has been a good learning experience, but honestly each attempt was overthought and made too complicated by myself.

Blogger

Blogger is a Google supported blogging system that integrates well into your google profile. It's free to use and you get a free subdomain to use

I set up a blogger account way back in college for an ethics class. It was used as an alternative to sending in writeups via a word document, pdf, or hard copy. Even though it was easy to use and simple to maintain it was not very customizable.

Wordpress

Wordpress is an amazing tool in my opinion. I highly recommend it to those new to or expert in the blogging world. There are so many features built directly into the system along with plugins that extend functionality that you need only worry about your posts.

In a past life most of my freelance work was done in PHP. My last full time job was as a PHP Developer. It's the language I first learned and became an expert in. Wordpress was a no brainer as it had many nice templates and plugins to use.

The problem with Wordpress came about from my desire to exit the PHP community. PHP is great and I loved programming in it, but in the end I knew I wanted to move on and learn Ruby. Something about the Ruby / Rails community really caught my attention so I jumped in head first and never looked back. From then on I knew I couldn't hapily maintain a PHP framework for my personal blog

Githup Pages / Jekyll

Jekyll is an innovative blogging system that can be used stand alone or via Github Pages. It allows you to create posts using some dynamic scripting and then 'compiles' it all down to static html. Using the static html you may host it on S3a> for a very cheap per hour basis or for free on Github Pages

I was quite enthusiastic about this approach being a starving entrepreneur and all. It had the dynamic element along with the simplicity of static HTML. The issue for me was the lack of dynamic interaction on the site. What if I wanted to create a contact form or a place to time scheduler for visitors to use and have that data stored for later? Sure I could embed a solution or use a third party to save my data, but I wouldn't have much control over the data or be able to process it later. Besides all this, isn't this a site to show off my abilities as a developer?

A Custom Solution

All these problems led me to the solution which is what you are currently seeing. At the time of this writing my blog is very simple and is even open sourced on github. As you may notice it's nothing more complex than an intro to Rails tutorial, but it fits my needs. I can now run this simple blog with full control over the data and be able to extend it whenever needed. I'm sure in the future this blog will need to be updated and extended in functionality, but for now it works and there's no need to keep searching for a better solution.

Posted July 11 2013