The switch has been made

Posted on 2023-07-05 17:56 +0100 in Meta • 2 min read

Well, it didn't take as long as I expected it to. Just yesterday morning I was giving Pelican a look over as a possible engine for generating my blog, having wanted to move away from Jekyll for a while now. Having tried it and liked what I saw to start with, I wrote about how I liked it and wondered how long it would take me to make the switch.

By the evening I was making a proper effort to get the switchover started, and just a wee while earlier, before writing this post, the switch was made!

The process of making the switch was roughly this (and keep in mind I'm coming from using Jekyll):

  1. Made a branch in the repo to work in.
  2. Removed all of the Jekyll-oriented files.
  3. Decided to set up Pelican and related tools in a virtual environment, managed using pipenv.
  4. Ran pelican-quickstart to kick things off and give me a framework to start with.
  5. Renamed the old _posts directory to content.
  6. Kept tweaking the hell out of the Pelican config file until it started to look "just so" (this is a process that has been ongoing, and doubtless will keep happening for some time to come).
  7. Tried out a few themes and settled on Flex; while not exactly what I wanted, it was close enough to help keep me motivated (while rolling my own theme from scratch would seem fun, I just know it would mean the work would never get done, or at least finished).
  8. Did a mass tidy up of all the tags in all the posts; something I'd never really paid too much attention to as the Jekyll-based blog never actually allowed for following tags.
  9. Went though all the posts and removed double quotes from a lot of the titles in the frontmatter (something Jekyll seems to have stripped, but which Pelican doesn't).
  10. Tweaked the FILE_METADATA to ensure that the slugs for the URLs came from the filenames -- by default Pelican seems to slugify the title of a post and this meant that some of the URLs were changing.

All in all I probably spent 6 or 7 hours on making the move; a lot of that involving reading up on how to configure Pelican and researching themes. The rest of it was a lot of repetitive work to fix or tidy things.

The most important aspect of this was keeping the post URLs the same all the way back to the first post; as best as I can tell I've managed that.

So far I'm pleased with the result. I'm going to live with the look/theme for a wee while and see how it sits for me. I'm sure I'll tweak it a bit as time goes on, but at the moment I'm comfortable with how it looks.