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Hi, I'm Kiran Rao.

Android Developer. Tech enthusiast. Serial dabbler.

Shift to Octopress Postponed

For some time now, I have been toying with the idea of migrating this blog to octopress. I'm already using Markdown to compose my posts, so this is a logical step for me. Also, the idea of a static site that I can take with me wherever I choose to host it appeals to me. Finally, there's the geek factor what with git-based publish workflows and SCSS/liquid customizations and what not. I had even chosen a theme - Fabric - to use as my base theme.

However, it looks like I'm going to have to postpone migration to Octopress. Here are some of the reasons:

Redirection

I'm not sure how to deal with links to my existing posts. I have seen examples of how to do this if you are self-hosting your current blog, or if you are using your own domain name. Neither of these apply to me - my current blog is hosted on blogger, with a .blogspot domain.

Comments

I'm already using Disqus for comments on my blog. I gather that it should be possible to migrate Disqus comments even if your domain changes. I just haven't figured out how.

Importing

I tried using some custom Ruby scripts to import my existing posts into Octopress. While it works, there are two problems I need to deal with:

  • Syntax Highlighting: In blogger, syntax highlighting is done dynamically by Javascript (I use google's prettify.js). While this can be used with static site generators, it is best to stick to introducing syntax highlighting at the post generation time. This is all fine for new posts, but for posts that I import from blogger, this needs additional tweaking. Basically the imported sources are just HTML with some YAML front-matter. I will need to convert it to markdown, add the syntax highlighting annotations and then generate the posts from it.

  • Permalinks: This goes back to the redirection I already mentioned. I also need to customize the permalinks of imported posts to make sure they play nice with redirection. Again, this is not a problem for newer posts. Only the imported posts need to be tweaked.

Looking Forward

I'm not saying that any of the above impossible (or even very difficult) to achieve. It is just that some amount of experimentation is involved. I feel that it would take up more time than I am willing to invest at this point to get things up and running.

This is not to say that I have shelved the idea of shifting to a static site generator altogether. On the contrary. This shift is surely happening. It has just been deferred.

The easiest approach would be to maintain my current blog at http://curioustechizen.blogspot.com/ and start the octopress blog afresh. No imports from blogger. No redirection. Only new posts at the new blog. This approach is not without its downsides though.

So, in a nutshell:

I will surely be migrating to a static site generator like octopress in the near future. But for now, I'm sticking with blogger.


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