Middleman Blog Engine

Posted on June 12, 2014

When I decided to start this project I knew I needed a way to easily write articles and view them locally. Since static websites are the latest craze, and can be hosted almost anywhere, I did a bit of searching and found the blog extension for Middleman. I also found a guide on running Middleman on Heroku. I decided that since I'm already managing my blog with Git, I might as well post the whole thing on Github so you can see my configuration.

If you're interested in playing around with this blog engine, go ahead and download my blog. This assumes you have rvm (Ruby Version Manager) installed.

$ git clone git@github.com:wjlafrance/blog.git
$ cd blog
$ rvm install 2.1.1
$ rvm use 2.1.1
$ gem install bundler && bundle install

Creating a new article is easy. There's no fancy script. I just touch a file, open the directory in my favorite editor, and run Middleman's embedded server.

[lafrance@alaska ~/dev/blog]$ touch source/2014-06-12-middleman-blog-engine.html.markdown
[lafrance@alaska ~/dev/blog]$ subl .
[lafrance@alaska ~/dev/blog]$ middleman
== The Middleman is loading
== The Middleman is standing watch at http://0.0.0.0:4567
== Inspect your site configuration at http://0.0.0.0:4567/__middleman/

Open your browser to the site Middleman is hosting and you should be looking at your new blog.

I'm still working on perfecting the layout and style, as I don't want this blog to betray the fact that it was created by a developer with no designer help. I welcome any pull requests on Github with improvements, whether technical, visual, or even grammatical.

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next week!

(PS: If you're curious why my computer is no longer named defiant, there's a few reasons. My SSD wore out, so I had to break my Fusion Drive, and decided to do a clean install of OS X. I've also been short on starships lately, so I've decided that I'll now name my devices after places, which I swear I didn't copy from Apple. I'm about 90% of the way though the excellent book Looking For Alaska, so I named my computer alaska. That way, if I ever misplace it I'll literally be looking for Alaska.)