Switching to Hugo

Long ago I had a website written in Cold Fusion, ASP, PHP, Python. I wrote a simple blogging feature and created content via a rich text editor. This was grand, but eventually I lost interest in “building a website”, but I still enjoyed writing stuff. I like writing stuff because it’s fun and it relaxes me. So I migrated my site to a static site using Tinkerer. I chose that tool because I was am a big fan of restructured text a tool called Sphinx. Tinkerer is basically a static site generator built using reST and Sphinx - perfect for me.

Annoyingly I had a bunch of formatted content, where the formatting itself was (terrible) html that the client side rich text editor (I forget which one I used) had created when I was adding content (ultimately persisted to a text blob in PostgreSQL). Luckily I was able to extract most of the formatting into reST via Pandoc. This left me with a static site where I could draft content in reST and host it on s3. Everything was perfect :)

Until it wasn’t

What wound up happening was that I’d get a new computer and need to install the Python dependencies required to run Tinkerer. I had this scripted so it was no biggie, but still annoying just the same. I also loved content expressed as reST, but I didn’t really enjoy the amount of time it took to generate the content. I could code in Vim, but the test iterations were a tad on the slow side.

I wanted to focus on content

I enjoyed all the fancy things I could do with Sphinx consumed reST, but usually that was unrelated to the actual content, and the content was the fun part. So I started looking around and found Hugo. It provided exactly what I wanted, without the parts I didn’t want. Specifically it fixed the following:

  1. The installation is a single file, nothing else to fart around with.
  2. Iteration speed is awesome. I’m sure it might even get faster over time, but it’s so fast I probably won’t be able to tell. It just makes iteration fun.

The only challenging part was that it consumed Markdown, not reST. Initially I didn’t prefer this, mostly because I already know reST pretty well. But the more I thought about it I realized it was my preference. I like reST… but it never really caught on. Python is pretty much the only guy in town who does cool things with it. Everyone else chose Markdown. So why fight it (when it comes to ascii type markup it’s so similar anyway), just go with the flow :)

So now I have a site powered by Hugo, and I love it :)

Update

I am a software nerd, so I love software updates/iterations. Unfortunately Tinkerer has not been updated since 2014, but just today I noticed a new release of Hugo. That pretty much puts a bow on it for me :)