All Change. Again.
After a bit of thought, I’ve decided to move the site away from Open Melody. I’m still a big fan of the software, and I wish the project the best of luck, but I’ve come to realise that it’s not a good fit for what I want to do. If you have several blogs, many users, and need a web interface and dynamic features like comments and trackbacks, then Melody (and it’s predecessor, Movable Type) are a good choice. However, I have a single blog, a single user, and I want to keep everything static so that any fleeting spike in traffic won’t bring the whole thing grinding to a halt. Moreover, I prefer things where I can get at them, in the file system; that way, I can use all the filters and editors and version control systems that I’m familiar with.
This last point is what crystallised the decision for me. I’ve increasingly been finding myself getting bogged down in details whilst trying to make changes to the site’s design or functionality. Melody is justifiably a complex system, as it does a lot. There are large parts of it I don’t understand. I’m sure I could learn it, but the fact that I keep fighting the tide suggests that I’d be learning things weren’t necessary for what I actually want to achieve. So, I’ve decided to move to something simpler and better suited to my needs.
The tool I’ve chosen is Jekyll. It’s small and simple enough for me to understand completely (having to learn Ruby is an added bonus), it keeps everything in files which I can edit with Emacs and track with Git, and it has an importer that brings the posts in from Melody with a minimum of fuss. So, the site looks more or less the same, but the back end is a lot more straightforward and it should make it easier to improve things in the future.
I for one welcome our new text file overlords.