On blog migration

On blog migration

I've started my first Web page in 1998 and one could say that it evolved quite a bit in the meantime. From a Frontpage designed Web site with frames, it evolved to plain HTML files. I've started blogging in 2003, though the archives of this blog only gets back to 2007. Truth is, many things I wrote in the first years were short (there were no Twitter) and not that relevant nowadays. Therefore, I never migrated them along the road of the many migrations that site had.

The last time I switched this site engine was in 2011, were I switched from Emacs Muse (and my custom muse-blog.el extension) to Hyde, a static Web site generator written in Python.

That taught me a few things.

First, you can't really know for sure which project will be a ghost in 5 years. I had no clue back then that Hyde author would lose interest and struggle passing the maintainership to someone else. The community was not big but it existed. Betting on a horse is part skill and part chance. My skills were probably lower seven years ago and I also may have had bad luck.

Secondly, maintaining a Web site is painful. I used to blog more regularly a few years ago, as the friction of using a dynamic blog engine was lower than spawning my deprecated static engine. Knowing that it needs 2 minutes to generate a static Web site really makes it difficult to compose and see the result at the same time without losing patience. It took me a few years to decide it was time to invest in the migration. I just jumped from Hyde to Ghost, hosted on their Pro engine as I don't want to do any maintenance. Let's be honest, I've no will to inflict myself the maintenance of a JavaScript blogging engine.

Macro of motor engine with gears and screws

The positive side is that this is still Markdown based, so the migration job was not so painful. Ghost offers a REST API which allow to manipulate most of the content. It works fine, and I was able to leverage the Python ghost-client to write a tiny migration script to migrate every post.

I am looking forward to share most of the things that I work on during the next months. I really enjoyed reading contents of great hackers those last years, and I've learned ton of things by reading the adventure of smarter engineers.

It might be my time to share.