This blog has been on four different platforms since starting in 2007: a custom blogging engine and then Movable Type (“MovableType.org,” n.d.) on Nature Network (http://network.nature.com/?) 2007-2010, Wordpress on the PLOS Blogs Network (http://blogs.plos.org/mfenner/?) 2010-2013, and the static blogging engine Jekyll (http://jekyllrb.com/?) hosted on Github Pages since 2013. It might be time for yet another blogging platform change.
The main reason to switch from Wordpress to Jekyll was the concept of a static site generator: write posts in markdown format (“CommonMark,” n.d.), store them in a Github repository, and then have Jekyll automatically generate the HTML pages hosted on Github Pages (https://pages.github.com/?). The main attraction was the blog posts in markdown format stored in git version control without the need of a database. Jekyll is the glue to make all this work, and I was able to customize Jekyll to my needs, e.g. by using Pandoc (“Pandoc - About Pandoc,” n.d.) for the markdown to html conversion.
While this workflow still makes sense for this blog, there are a number of shortcomings:
What could we do instead?
The separation into API and frontend is of course old news. But for blogs this seems to still be a fairly new concept, in particular when combined with a backend using documents stored in git version control rather than in a database. Wordpress added a REST API Plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/json-rest-api/?) in 2014, and the Ghost blogging framework (which uses a database backend) also seems to go into that general direction (https://trello.com/b/EceUgtCL/ghost-roadmap?). Please ping me if you like the idea and want to contribute, or have implemented something like this already.