Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Who needs Jekyll for GitHub pages? Introducing Hyde!

I've been playing with various blogging/CMS engines since I started messing about with code. I even played with the fore-runner of WordPress for a long time before moving my own blog over to WordPress and now over to blogger. I created another one a little while ago that could be hosted on Google Drive but it didn't really peak my interest TBH, then along came a lovely article via Feedly (I love Feedly - I love it so much I've paid for it! Why don't you?) about GitHub pages. The article was lovely except that it wasn't really aimed at Windows users (what can I say? Windows works for me and seems to work a treat with most things I ask it to do... there's something about messing with Ruby though that leaves me feeling cold).

Anyway, the article talked about using Ruby to generate a static site using a combination of markdown and a Ruby gem by the name of Jekyll. This, after thrashing around trying to get the bloody thing to work on Windows 8 for a little while, got me thinking about my original GDB and about how cool it would be if I stored markdown rather than Base64 encoded HTML within my spreadsheet. So I got to work making that happen.

Thankfully all this happened during the Xmas and New Year break so I had some time to play (plus ample opportunity to play seeing as whenever I'm not playing/coding, driving, drinking or sleeping I'm an emotional mess) so I got to work and created a markdown powered dynamic blogging engine that seems to work a treat as a replacement for Jekyll on GitHub pages while using Google Sheets as a backend! Strangely enough I decided to call it Hyde. It's not likely to be fast but it does the job a treat and I'm going to write some instructions about it's use later on, in the meantime you can see it an action here.