You probably want to skip this post. It is really just here as filler to break the ice that has accumulated from not blogging in more than two years. I am not quite sure where the time is going to come from to be able to do the writing that I really want to do. However, it continues to surprise me how often I am having a conversation and I get to reach into the old bizcoder blog and say "I wrote a post about that years ago". There are so many topics that I spend time thinking about these days and I write scribbly notes into a OneNote page, or a Word document. Those words just then die in that medium. They are not in a format that is great to share and the fact that I know I probably will not share them causes me to not spend the time to polish them sufficiently to share. It is a vicious cycle.
I want to blog out of purely selfish reasons. I want spend the time writing to get my thoughts in order so that I can communicate my ideas clearly. I want ask questions I do not have answers to and hopefully someone who reads this stuff will share answers with me. I want to have my thoughts in a sharable format so that I do not have to repeat myself when the issue comes up again. Invariably the written post does a better job of my ad-hoc regurgitations.
For years my bizcoder blog has been hobbling along on a really old version of Orchard. I have tried so many times to upgrade it, but it keeps failing. My ASP.NET skills are not strong enough to debug it and eventually I just gave up trying. I just have not found a blogging engine that feels right to me. They are either too much or two little. I have had some experience working with static generators like Jekyll and there is definitely an appeal. I like the simplicity of static sites for largely read-only content. When I heard about Wyam,I was really interested. It took so long to do anything about it, that Wyam became Statiq and then I was faced with the challenge of how to migrate my content. I'll save the details of that for another blog post because I think it is an interesting and still ongoing effort to extract content from blogs using the metablog API.
- I want to be able write in Markdown. It is not an amazing format, but it is just good enough to do what I need without being overly complicated.
- I want to be able to deploy easily. Statiq has built-in capability to do a zipdeploy to the Kudu API that Azure App Service supports. It appears to be simple enough for me to figure it out, so that is a win.
- I want to be able to include images easily. Images are a pain in Markdown, but with the little trick I learned about using a fragment identifier to apply CSS style, I think it might just be bearable.
- I wanted to be able to preview pages as I write and with the Statiq live preview feature, it seems good enough.
Is it good enough?
I guess the real test will be whether this setup is low friction enough for me to keep blogging. Only time will tell, but this must be at least the tenth time I have tried to get started in the last three years and this is the furthest I have got.
I have a LOT of pent up content in my head and I can only hope I can find the time to put it down in writing. It would be icing on the cake if some of it were actually valuable to people who read it.