This site began as an experiment. I was using Wordpress as a blogging engine, then built my own engine in PHP, then tried Tumblr for a brief stint. Nothing was really doing it for me. I wanted something that was simple, something that allowed me to write my posts in Markdown, and something that allowed me to get dirty in the code from time to time. Ultimately, I wanted to get away from PHP. My own engine was great, slick even. All of the content was stored in the database with a page editor that allowed me to edit or create a page and assign it to a slug. The entire site was done this way, even the admin section. The only files on the actual web server were the
content.php pages. I used the
.htaccess file to redirect any slug to
content.php, passing in the requested page. It was simple and fun, but I wanted to write it in Ruby.
I know what you're thinking. Why would you essential rewrite Ruby on Rails? Rails does everything I just described (in a slightly different way of course). Well, long story short, I didn't. About this time I stumbled across toto, and I fell in love. It's small, simple, and easily extendable. I've changed a couple things, but for the most part I'm still using it as is. My whole site is contained in a git repository, which gives me versioning not only on the code but my articles as well. I love toto. It gives me a fun side project not only in writing articles but also in extending the functionality as I need/want. If you're feeling brave, give it a try. You can use the vanilla app, or my fork (which adds tagging and categories).
That's enough about the backstory, to develop this site I used Chocolat, a really great editor for OS X. As far as design goes, I was inspired by the simple layout of Blaskan for Wordpress. I'm using League Gothic for headings, and Helvetica for the copy. To embed code snippets I wrote a quick bit of jQuery to pull gists from gist.github.com.
If you have any questions about the site, please get in touch.