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New website publishing software
Nov 30th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

For about eight years now I’ve been using a Windows program called CityDesk to manage the Orange Road website (except for the blog). Although it works well enough, it was abandoned by its developer long ago, and also requires the inconvenience of firing up a Windows virtual machine whenever I want to edit my site. Since I needed to make various changes due to my recent move, I decided it would be a good idea to look for a modern replacement.

After a bit of searching around I settled on nanoc, a static publishing system written in Ruby. It’s a little harder to use than CityDesk due to being a command-line tool, but it’s much more powerful as you can extend it with Ruby. It also has the advantage of using individual files instead of CityDesk’s monolithic database, which means that everything can be put under version control. I’ve put the source for the Orange Road website up on GitHub.

I considered the need to write some Ruby code to be a plus, as I’ve been wanting to learn the language. I read a book a while back, but to really learn a language you have to actually use it for something.

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