I finally found some time to migrate my blog to Octopress from Wordpress.com. The critical reason to migrate from Wordpress has been the support for nice code syntax highlighting, something I couldn’t have wordpress.com, at least for free. I know there are very nice wordpress plugins for syntax highlighting but in order to use them I would have to host it myself. I don’t want to go through the hassle of maintaining a typical PHP/MySQL stack or to be worried about being slashdotted.

Having worked with an excellent documentation tool like Sphinx, I started looking to static blog generators meant. It turned out that Manu Viera, a colleague working at Yaco with me, shared the same itch and had already looked several static web generators in Python, which is our main language at Yaco. Manu found pelican the best candidate but still I found it a bit immature, not something like something like Jekyll.

Then I found Octopress, a framework built on top of Jekyll with several plugins, including syntax highlighting or automatic support for disqus comments.

The migration from wordpress was not too painful. I used the default Jekyll script to import wordpress posts and disqus importer for the comments. After some sed commands I got nice markdown formatted scripts.

I had some trouble in the beginning configuring an isolated Ruby runtime in Arch Linux just for Octopress but after discovering rbenv, everything went smooth. (I prefer rbenv instead RVM with rbenv I know at any moment what it’s doing).

Deploying an Octopress generated site to github pages is as easy as pie.

Aside of nice Python syntax highlighting now I have some extra advantages I didn’t have with wordpress.com:

  • Markdown syntax when writing my posts.

  • I can use the best text editor to mankind: vim :P

  • My blog data becomes more manageable. If at some point I don’t want to host it github, I could just to push it somewhere else with no modification.

  • I got a very nice default theme for free, that aside of looking good, it’s also very easy to tweak and maintain.

  • Now I have a good excuse to learn Ruby outside of RoR influence. Ruby is one of those languages I wish I would be better at, even if Python remains my main working language.

In any case, I must say the service provided by wordpress.com has been quite good but this one of those cases where you have to say: “Sorry, it’s not you, it’s just me”.