Kristjan Jansen , interaction designer. I teach, talk and have a podcast. Here is my portfolio & CV. Find me in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Github, Instagram & Gmail.

Blogging tools and user experience have moved on quite fast in recent years. After spending a lot of time automating and markdownifying my coding and authoring workflows it suddenly felt kludgy to to fill small webforms and fighting with the markup filters to get something decently formatted and published. Consider also the time spent on spam fighting -- it was clearly the time to move on to a new platform.

In such cases usually two approaches are considered -- either moving to a hosted blogging platform such as Tumblr, Squarespace or Medium or using a Markdown-based static site generator. I picked the latter.

As a NodeJS convert I first started to research NodeJS-based generators. It turns out that most of them are still in too early stages (sure, there are some good tools out there such as Wintersmith, Blacksmith and Hexo). So I decided to fall back to the de facto standard generator Jekyll, learning from the experiences of the Drupal old-timers such as Walkah, UnConeD and Development Seed.

The move

Although Jekyll offers Drupal migration, it did not worked well since I was using Texy markup that was hard to convert to Markdown directly. To overcome the problem, I wrote a Drush script what fetches content from Drupal database, converts it to HTML and saves it to Markdown files. Such "U-turn" approach allows to convert all the typographic details and also tooks care of image references (with direct database migration I would have left with raw image tokens).

I also had to rehash my Twitter strategy. Previously I fetched and displayed my tweets from Twitter RSS, but as Twitter has shut down its feeds, I wrote a NodeJS utility that fetches latest tweets using official API and saves them to Markdown files.

For image previews, I wrote a simple shell script and Jekyll plugin to convert full-resolution images to thumbnail images. Right now it's a simple image replacement, but could be turned into a responsive image approach if needed.

While at it I also refreshed the look of the site (hello Montserrat and Lato), made it responsive, updated CV, created proper podcast feed, replaced old VPS with the new shiny and got a real domain name.

The wrapup

Drupal early years were heavily influenced by blog technology developments (remember Radio Userland and Drupal 4 Bloggers ?) and traces of that movement are still left in the Drupal codebase (xmlrpc.module, aggregator.module). But in year 2013 Drupal feels too heavyweight for light blogging, especially filling nerdy workflow needs.

It's not you, Drupal, it's me. I will move on and you better shape up for building those next-gen cloud publishing platforms!