Meta Refresh 2013

The design and engineering of user interface on the web

Why Static Site Generators are so awesome?

Submitted by Aniket Pant (@aniketpant) on Dec 11, 2012

Section: Tooling Technical level: Intermediate Session type: Lecture Status: Submitted

Abstract

Most of the web development crowd shunned static websites years ago and went for alternatives like WordPress and Tumblr for blogging. In the last one year, Jekyll has made a massive comeback and it is one of the best static website generators out there. The talk would focus on some key topics regarding the same.

Outline

First Draft

Jekyll is a brilliant static website generator used by some really amazing companies like Github. The talk would cover topics ranging from why should one choose Jekyll to the massive advantages it carries

The session will comprise of the following —

  1. What is Jekyll?
  2. So, what does Jekyll do?
  3. The performance gain
  4. The massive flexibility
  5. Allows to work with haml and sass (or any other css preprocessor you want to put in)
  6. How can you host using Jekyll for free?

The simple reason for preferring Jekyll over any other method for building websites, is the simplicity of it's working.

Jekyll is a brilliant static website generator used by some really amazing companies like Github. The talk would cover topics ranging from why should one choose Jekyll to the massive advantages it carries

UPDATE #1

I am changing the draft after a great response by Benjamin Lupton. The ideas he has given me to put into the talk are interesting and they do create a lot more scope than just restricting the talk to Jekyll.

The session will comprise of the following —

  1. Introduction to Static Site Generators
  2. How do they work?
  3. The performance gain
  4. The massive flexibility
  5. Allows to work with haml and sass (or any other css preprocessor you want to put in)
  6. Looking at different generators – Jekyll, Octopress, DocPad, Stacey, Kirby and Movable Type
  7. How do they handle rendering, why do they do it different, why is X better than Y?
  8. Why are static site generators becoming popular now? What were the events leading up to it? Why is the history important to understand the cultivation of the innovations.
  9. Who are the key players behind them, why did they work on them, why do they continue to work on them?

Speaker bio

I recently moved my blog from WordPress to Jekyll. I thought it would take a couple of days, but I was able to wind up the process in two days to be exact (leaving out the design).

So, I am Aniket and I am 19. I have been working with web development not for long but in this time I have worked on a number of applications (a majority of which were written using Codeigniter). I have recently moved on to working with Laravel but my forté lies in front-end semantics.

Links

Comments

  • BL

    Benjamin Arthur Lupton

    @balupton

    7 years ago (edited 7 years ago)

    Don’t confuse the subset with the superset. The superset being “static site generators” is awesome. However, the subsets/implementations of static site generators generally leave much to be desired (especially Jekyll).

    It would be great if this talk was more implementation agnostic, as otherwise it is just associating benefits that all static site generators inherit to Jekyll, and would miss out on a lot of benefits that other implementations have. For instance, replace all mentions of Jekyll with “Static Site Generator” and you open a lot more doors while remaining completely true, and you could add a section of “Innovations happening with Static Site Generators” to contrast the different implementations and their different innovations.

    Would also be nice to have counters to common questions such as:

    Performance Related:

    • Aren’t static site generators just an implementation of pre-caching that we can already add to existing sites? Why should I care verse just doing pre-caching on top of my CMS.
    • How do static site generators beat site dumps, with site dumps I can use any backend

    Innovation Related:

    • Why should I give up the ability to customise routes and add dynamic abilities such as forms and ecommerce to the site? Do I need to? What static site generators still support dynamic abilities?
    • How do the different static site generators handle rendering, why do they do it different, why is X better than Y?
    • Aren’t static site generators just glorified compilers? Can’t I use grunt tasks for this. What’s the difference, and why is that difference important?

    History Related:

    • Why are static site generators becoming popular now? What were the events leading up to it? Why is the history important to understand the cultivation of the innovations.
    • Who are the key players behind them, why did they work on them, why do they continue to work on them?
    • AP

      Aniket Pant

      @aniketpant

      Proposer 7 years ago

      Benjamin, thanks for the comment. It actually made me think of the fact, why I was limiting the talk to only Jekyll, when I myself have worked with Octopress, Stacey and Kirby before.

      I have updated the draft, and will be ready to make more changes so the talk takes a good shape.

      • BL

        Benjamin Arthur Lupton

        @balupton

        7 years ago

        Sweet!

  • Kiran Jonnalagadda

    @jace

    Crew 7 years ago

    Upvote from me. Will wait to hear from the rest of the program committee.

    • AP

      Aniket Pant

      @aniketpant

      Proposer 7 years ago

      Thanks Kiran :)
      Means a lot.

  • BO

    Brajeshwar Oinam

    @brajeshwar

    7 years ago

    I like Jekyll but my latest fixation is Yeoman. Yeoman is just bloody brilliant. Would love to hear your story of Jekyll.

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