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Gihub Gists: Blogging for the lazy

Github Gists: Blogging for the lazy

Roy Keyes

11 March 2014 - This is a post on my blog.

Recently I decided to revamp my website. I wanted it to be simple, mobile friendly, have Markdown-based blogging, and not pay an arm and a leg to host it.

Static sites are all the rage these days, and not without reason. They're cheap, fast, and portable. Of the several hosting options I looked at, including S3, Github seemed like the easiest. A site is included even with your free account and you can just push a git repo to publish.

Although static site generators are very popular, I decided that I would simply use a CSS framework like Bootstrap. Having built a few websites before, I knew I wanted to start "responsive" out of the box and use something with light mental overhead. At some point I came accross Skeleton and it seemed to fit the bill.

Wanting a Markdown-based blog meant I would probably need a static site generator after all. However, I was recently reading a short Python tutorial that someone had written using Gists and realized that it might just work as a blogging platform as well.

Gists have several features that make them usable as a simple blog:

  • Markdown is supported.
  • Links, images, and lists are all rendered nicely.
  • Pretty code snippets with syntax highlighting.
  • A built-in commenting system.
  • You can download or clone the gist.
  • You don't need to set up your own system to handle the above 👏

It might be code snippets and the comment system that really swayed me. You can easily insert snippets of code that look nice just like this:

# A Python function
def testfunc(xlist):
    '''This of course is a test function!'''
    print 'Test!'
    return [x for x in xlist if x != 1]

And of course, commenting is built in as anyone with a Github account can comment (probably much of my target audience).

For now this seems to suit my needs as a blogging "platform". Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


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@roycoding roycoding commented Mar 13, 2014

Here's a post by someone else talking about blogging via gists (from 2012).

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