Lynnard’s Very First Nerdy Rant About Blogging

Finally opened my own blogspace. I’ve been dreaming about this day for a long, long time but never got time to set it up properly. For one thing, the common blogging scene is so crowded with web-interface-backed alternatives such as Wordpress - which at best is cumbersome and not hacker-minded. An easy dig around the net reveals to me the gem in the sea: Octopress.

What is Octopress?

  • Write your blogs in Markdown with any editor (Sweet, vim it is)
  • Include code like skateboarding in the sky
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$ rake new_post["I like to write blog in CLI"]
$ rake preview
  • Version control your blog like any code in Github

Gotcha

As a `Pandoc` loyalist, Octopress's choice of using `rdiscount` as its default `Markdown` compiler without a doubt unnerves me. Therefore the first thing to do is to integrate Pandoc into Octopress. Fortunately a little [post](http://drz.ac/2013/01/03/blogging-with-math/) helped me.

Unfortunately the Pandoc solution is NOT working for me. For the time being I’ll be settling with Octopress’s own codeblock feature or its github code fencing filter.

Gonna be different?

One biggest problem with Octopress is its poor support for themes (or rather, the dearth of the themes?), which leads to the fact that almost every Octopress blog looks exactly the same. To be fair the default theme looks perfectly fine to my eyes; but after seeing it being used with only changes in background wallpaper across countless other blogs it’s out of luck for me. A purist needs something simple, functional, and yet a little different. That’s why I decided to settle on slash. In future I might tweak the theme myself to suit my needs but all is good for now.

What about working on the go?

This, however, is a big problem. The un*xy set of utilities sported by Octopress on CLI affords great flexibility and extensibility when working on a computer, but when you are left with only an iPhone or an Android then all becomes a giant PITA. I do wonder from time to time why no phone manufacturer has ever introduced a phone with a proper Terminal interface - which would definitely thrill up a huge crowd of nerds - but apparently nerds (read 屌丝) are just out of consideration for any manager.

I’m to have a Blackberry Q10 in October so ideally there can be some solution for this great phone with its great QWERTY keyboard. One thing I can think of is to have a server running 24hr that monitors my Dropbox directory and recompiles my website whenever a change is made; at the same time use some text editor to edit the posts on my phone; or better yet, just use a SSH client and …

Oh forget about it.

Jul 30th, 2013

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