Reboot 2018

Reboot 2018

I amar prestar aen,
Han mathon ne nen,
Han mathon ne chae
A han noston ned ’wilith

And here we are again. It was nearly exactly one year ago when I started my experiment using HubPress as blogging system. The glorious count of blog posts actually published made it up to four – including the one announcing the change. To be fair, the other blog on my Jimdo site only grew by two posts in the same time. But what happened? Hadn’t I hoped for greater posting frequency?

Indeed, I had. However, there were a couple of things I had not foreseen. First to blame was certainly my professional engagement, which in 2017 consumed more time and energy than ever before – commuting almost fortnightly between Hamburg and Toulouse certainly took its toll. Therefore, my engagement in programming and other topics I could have written about was significantly reduced. The tiny bit of time that remained I decided to not dedicate it to publishing. This was not a conscious decision though, but rather an instinctive one – and HubPress played its role in it.

My initial euphoria soon suffered from first hand experiencing how petulantly HubPress tended to behave. First of all, authentication was a permanent issue – HubPress authenticates against GitHub, but in quite a paranoid way, forcing me to re-enter credentials several times during creation of an article. Then I found out that I could use Chromium or Chrome for editing articles, but publishing them only worked with FireFox (and only in a fresh session). The least tedious workflow I set up finally involved using Chrome for creating a post stub, Atom for writing and editing the content, and FireFox for publishing it. Not exactly what I would call a clean and easy to follow workflow, and again bound to using a computer with specific software installed (namely Atom and Git).

For a while it looked as if HubPress was still undergoing active development, and indeed, in August last year a patch release was tagged. Therefore I still hoped for a while to see some of those tedious issues fixed, and gain better usability in the content creation and publishing process. However my hope was let down – said patch release was the last activity HubPress’ GitHub repository has seen ever since. Some time later I had to discover that HubPress’ web site (the former domain) had ceded to exist. My conclusion: HubPress is dead.

Consequently, I had to decide what to do – live on with a solution that doesn’t really satisfy my needs in terms of usability, and will most probably never see any fixes? Certainly not, particularly since my own JavaScript skills are far from what would be needed to hack on HubPress’ code. Cutting a long story short, I missed Ghost. I missed its simplicity, clean interface and powerful editor. Its clean and easy to hack theming. Why not get it back? Well, here it is. It just took me a while to find a suitable hosting solution – Ghost Pro is way too expensive and well outside my budget envelope (this blog doesn’t generate any revenue, it’s a pure leisure time activity).

So where to host Ghost? DIY on a cloud service? Since Ghost dropped support for PostgreSQL, Heroku is no longer a viable option (and I’m not keen on starting new cloud service accounts around the different providers for every software product I want to use). Furthermore, I didn’t want to bother about installing and maintaining Ghost, a database backend, etc. And finally, I needed a provider with a European data centre. As this blog is online, you may have guessed already I found one – UK based Tsohost offers a great Ghost Hosting package, at a very affordable price. For the setup I had to bother their support team a couple of times, but they sorted it out in no time.

Well, here I am now, hoping again I will find some more time for writing stuff this year – at least the blogging platform won’t give me any excuses this time, I’ve seen to that. Besides, I converted the few articles from the HubPress blog and published them here as well – it just feels better having everything here. And the other website? I most probably won’t do the same with all the content of the Jimdo blog (maybe some selected items only), and I haven’t decided yet what to do with the other content availed over there. Time will tell, but again the probability I will keep on maintaining more than one site is not really high…

About Jesco Freund

Caffeine-based life form loving X-Plane, crypto, coffee, chili pepper, FreeBSD, C and Python. Likes coding stuff nobody needs and never gets finished either.