I’ve grown increasingly unhappy with WordPress, despite the fact that it’s served me fairly faithfully for over seven years. The main reason is performance—this blog is now just too slow to load. There are definitely things I could do to tackle that, but having to do so is a sign that it’s not the right platform. The other reason is philosophical—I no longer think that a web application backed by a database is the best approach for a blog.
I’ve been thinking about writing my own—of course. So first I should establish the requirements.
Given how often I’ve stressed the need to back up your stuff, it may seem odd for me to claim that it’s possible to have too many of them. But in some senses it is, which is why I’m writing this post as I’m copying files to my main hard drive from a virtual machine running Ubuntu that’s mounting an OpenBSD drive via a USB-SATA adapter.
I switched to writing in reStructuredText in mid-2009, and to writing in Vim in early 2010. Since then I’ve made a lot of tweaks to improve editing efficiency, and eventually collected these in a Vim plugin (and a Python script). The following discussion of that plugin might be of interest to anyone concerned with writing efficiency and/or editor customization.
I use plain text formats for all of my writing, and you should at least consider doing the same.
By “plain text” I mean not only a text (as opposed to binary) file format, but also something that is plainly readable when simply listing the contents of the file—that is, a format you don’t necessarily need a specific tool to read. Such formats are more flexible, more robust, more malleable, and more future-proof than more complicated alternatives.
After a highly enjoyable, productive, and extended period, it’s time for me to return to the world of paid work.
I’m quite happy with the things I’ve done during my time off. Many of them are important only to me, but then, it’s been my time off.
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, document formats
, text editing