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David van Geest

Software, Life, and Stuff I Couldn't Find on the Internet

New city, new site!

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So Jo and I moved to Toronto at the beginning of December, and things are going swimmingly. I’m still working for Spindance, but now from the comfort of our home study.

Once things settled down a little, I got to work revamping davidvg.com. Astute readers might note that I did the same thing last year, moving from 60cycleCMS to Typo, and ask why I’m changing it up again.

One of the bigger problems was trying to host a full-blown Rails site on Dreamhost. I like Dreamhost for the most part, but they’re really not set up for Rails sites. I sporadically had random application crashes, and the site was really slow at times. Installing the right gems was downright painful, although I imagine using Bundler would mitigate that considerably (I haven’t actually tried it). What I really wanted to do was move davidvg.com to Heroku. I had previously moved pvanreenen.com there (as well as porting it from PHP to Sinatra), and it was a very pleasent experience.

Typo is good, but it was really starting to bug me. It’s weighed down by a lot of legacy code (although they’re working on that), and I kept finding bugs that seemed to be un-squashable because of the huge and complex codebase. There were some missing or non-functional features too, like decent syntax highlighting and a comments system that played well with others. That said, I was using an older version, and I’m sure the newer versions are a lot better, but the thought of trying to upgrade Typo and merge my changes was making me ill.

A little bit of Googling revealed Octopress. It’s a static site generator based on Jekyll that uses a lot of my favourite tools, like Ruby and Sinatra. It had all the features I wanted, it was dead-easy to use, and it’s a great fit for Heroku. I was hooked pretty quickly.

So, welcome to the new Heroku-hosted, Octopress-baked version of davidvg.com. Do let me know if you see any rough edges!