Minimum Viable Review Site

October 28, 2015   meta   middleman

I wanted this site to have a blog, and that meant wanting it to have an RSS feed, too. It has them both, so I'm happy for now. There's still some stuff I could be doing, but I can:

  1. Review things
  2. Periodically write about the process of reviewing things, or supplement the reviews, in a blog.
  3. Automate tweets and Facebook posts about the whole thing.

The process of getting this far has given me time to think a bit about Middleman as a tool, and I guess I still like it a lot:

My home language is Ruby and my home templating language is HAML. Middleman checks both those boxes. I appreciate what Jekyll is trying to accomplish by using Liquid for templating, but it's not my concern so I don't want to be held back.

I like being able to author and publish without needing a running CMS application. That was always appealing to me, going all the way back to the first site, which I built with Emacs and genpage. I did okay with Movable Type for a while, and I still have WordPress over on the main blog, but I don't like thinking about having a live web app somewhere.

I like the ability to extend content through metadata, the way you can do with the "YAML on top, Markdown on the bottom" format for pages and posts. Between being able to add custom fields to a given content type and using Middleman's sitemap resource querying, I can build out some features and automate some presentational stuff similar to what I'd have been doing in Drupal a few years ago, just not having to do it with PHP.

Some of these preferences are passing, in the big picture. I'm in a place right now where "scatter the Legos of Middleman, Ruby, HAML, and Bootstrap on the floor, build a site out of 'em" is sort of appealing. I might not be too fond of that in a while, so I hope I get this into a place that feels great instead of merely okay before my interests move on.

Related Posts

Changelogs for Reviews
November 02, 2015

Things is © 2015 Mike Hall.