Trav Stone

The Mini-Blog is Alive

So now, up and running, I have this mini-blog.

The very first post was originally written as HTML. I've since converted that post over to Markdown. In fact, I wrote the entire site in HTML first—including first copy drafts (I'll post about that later).

But in this post, I'm going to talk a bit about how I built this.

The idea was to make it simple. Save the posts as Markdown files. Read one or a few of those files out of a directory, and send them through a parser to output HTML. I hadn't even really thought through the authoring side of it, but that turned out fairly simple too. I don't need anything fancy, and I want to edit in Markdown, so I don't even need to parse in the edit case.

I did make it easier to post by making a very sparse form interface for creating/editing. I don't even have to fire up FTP when I just want to jot a few thoughts down.

So far, really impressed with the markdown parser I've chosen (which is Parsedown). I was able to extend it pretty easily to give special markup treatment for the post title and date. It added a small overhead of custom syntax, which I then concealed in the form interface so I don't even have to type the extra bits.

Writing down my thoughts in Markdown feels pretty natural, at least it does these days. That's probably because I've written a lot of internal documentation with it. If you don't bold or italicize things (or whatever), you can completely forget about marking things up and just write.

Still considering the possibility of some JSON-based index (or something), to facilitate (somewhat) easy content searching. I have a few other ideas that may be needed once I get a few dozen posts in, but fortunately I don't have that problem right now.

Also not so fond of the URLs for these posts; 'blogId=1' doesn't inspire much interest from Google. I suppose I oughta figure that out before I get too far, but my whole ambition here was to keep it simple. Maybe having headline-like URLs isn't that important anymore. My SEO skills are rusty.

But let's just wait and see how much I post…

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