Monday, March 31, 2014

StaGen: The static site generator from WizTools.org

Maintaining websites is a hard task. The last version of WizTools.org was maintained using RapidWeaver. In the quest to design a good looking site, I had sacrificed the joy of working with text. While working on recent updates to the site, RapidWeaver brought back nightmares of using MS Word five years back—just a minor text formatting that I could do in less than a second in Markdown was taking minutes of workaround in RapidWeaver.

Then I started researching the best tool for maintaining my site using just text. I just wanted to fire up BBEdit and be productive. Jekyll sounded attractive. But is written in Ruby—I did not want to invest time in hacking this. JBake is in Java, but seemed bulky and used Freemarker templates. I had been sold out to StringTemplate couple of years back, and did not want to maintain my site in Freemarker.

Based on these parameters, I finally decided to write my own static site generator—specific for my needs of maintaining a tiny site like WizTools.org. And thus was born StaGen. Right now, there is no public release of StaGen (it was just written last night!)—but it already is powering WizTools.org home page as of now.

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