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First Post! (Sort of)

Date: 2013-01-10
Tags: ideas blog rambles gus projects

It’s incredibly hard to start writing, I find. Once started, however, it becomes easier once started. I’ll love to talk about a lot of things, but those will all come later. Right now I guess I’ll focus on why I’m writing this blog. I’ll be honest, one reason is to test and play with Gus , which is a project I’ve been working on over the past few days. The other reason is I always have some thoughts I’d like to share with people, but don’t really have a good place to put them. Being a programmer with (too much) pride, I couldn’t just install Drupal or Wordpress or use the Wordpress and Blogger services.

Gus

Gus is a utility that allows a website to be specified by 3 layouts, one main layout, a layout for top-level pages, and a layout for posts. (The top-level and posts layouts themselves are put into the main layout). The layout files are Mustache templates. Each of the top-level pages (404, index, posts index, about, &c) and all of the posts are stored as Textile or MarkDown. (The Textile and MarkDown files may contain Mustache templating as well.) .

Gus was also my first, real Python program. I’ll leave that for another post, but it was a good way, I feel, to learn and play with the language.

There were two factors at work as to why I wrote Gus. The first is that I felt like writing a blogging engine is something I can do myself. The second is that I felt very awkward having to have tons of PHP and a database running for what amounts to static files. The third is that I like VIM, git, and Textile. All of this came together as the inspiration for Gus. I’m happy with it so far, but there are still things I’d like to add; perhaps in my “free” time.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a lot of PHP is necessary, for instate when I finally finish RedColony, It’ll have a lot of backend work because a discussion board is a heavy presence there as well as having multiple people, not all of whole are computer savvy, will be submitting and using it. This blog, however, will almost entirely be static (except the search engine when I finish it, as Gus will precompute the index and the search file will simply load and go, making the search program very small).

The quickest way to get a feel for Gus is to open up a terminal to the directory you’ve downloaded it from and run ./gus site:site/rendered and then go to (dir gus is in)/site/rendered/index.html in your browser.

Gus has “watch” functionally akin ot SASS where as files are edited, the project is rerendered automatically, just use the -w option