goodbye Movable Type, hello Jekyll

Being forced to change servers has finally given me the kick in the butt I needed to revamp my web site and blog. The change is long overdue… Movable Type stopped being open source in 2013(!), and trying to keep any server side software operational became an exercise in frustration since every server upgrade broke all my scripts.

Enter Jekyll, a static site generator that promises to liberate you from the chains of server-side blog platforms! It seems to be fairly popular, well-supported, and quite flexible. I spent the last few weeks migrating my old posts1 over to this new system, which involved such fun things as fixing unicode encoding issues from an ancient mysql version, customizing the templates to show things like author names and thumbnail images, reorganizing image files and attachments into places that actually made sense, migrating the dozen or so comments that people had written ten years ago and figuring out how to show them without turning on a new commenting system, and setting up http redirects from the old URLs to the new ones. There does happen to be a movable type migrator that will read your database and generate blog post files in the right format for jekyll, which I did use as a first pass, but obviously I ended up doing a lot of manual fixing.

Well, it was a lot of work but it had to be done and I’m pretty happy with the result so far. I’m using a jekyll theme called Minimal Mistakes which includes that nice navigation bar along the top, and it’s nice that my web site finally lays out properly on tiny iPhone screens.

OK that’s enough blogging about blogging. I’m just excited/relieved to once again be able to post things here again. Fun travel posts coming soon!

  1. I decided to ditch a bunch of older posts that aren’t particularly interesting anymore, and good riddance!2 

  2. Ha, kramdown apparently supports footnotes inside footnotes!