Tom Insam

Talking to Jekyll using MarsEdit

Brent Simmons wrote a plea for Baked Weblogs the other week. It resonated - I'm the sort of nerd who obsessively re-writes his blogging engine more often than he actually uses it to blog things with, so I've been through a lot of solutions, and I keep coming back to baking.

Anyway. Brent wrote another piece in which he mentions,

I still get to write using MarsEdit, by the way. It talks to WEBrick running on my laptop.

Now, currently I blog in Tumblr, but I have the next generation version all set up and ready to cut across to when I feel like it, and it's based on Jekyll, like the rest of my site is. I want to be able to post to it from MarsEdit! How hard could it be to build something that will let me?

Actually, it turns out to be really annoying. I'm extremely unimpressed by the MetaWeblog API. HOWEVER, finally today I have a releasable / working version of jekyll-metaweblog, a stand-alone ruby webrick server that will expose a Jekyll source tree via MetaWeblog and let you post, edit, delete, upload images, etc, etc, from MarsEdit (and hopefully anything else that supports MetaWeblog).

Get the code and play.

An aside - Talking about baking, Brent writes

[Aaron] also wrote that he doesn’t care about performance. If getting fireballed were a thing back in 2002, he might have cared about performance. If he had seen system X go down for a day, he might have cared about performance. It’s interesting that performance — or robustness — arguably wasn’t an issue in 2002, but it is now.

The Wikipedia page for 'slashdot effect' goes back to at least September 2001. Performance did matter. Aaron's position is actually a lot closer to mine:

Honestly, I don’t care about performance. I don’t care about performance! I care about not having to maintain cranky AOLserver, Postgres and Oracle installs. I care about being able to back things up with scp. I care about not having to do any installation or configuration to move my site to a new server. I care about being platform and server independent. I care about full-featured HTTP implementations, including ETags, Content-Negotiation and If-Modified-Since. (And I know that nobody else will care about it enough to actually implement it in a frying solution.)

Baking has many problems, of course, but it has (for me) one huge overriding advantage - if I get bored of my codebase and want to build something else (this happens a lot), my blog doesn't go away. It just stops getting new content. Much safer. It's easy to build a dynamic site that'll cope with being Fireballed and still host it on a single system. It's hard to have to host 50 megs of mongrel process for the rest of time because you thought it would be a good idea to build some part of your site in Rails and now you can't turn it off.