The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Plain-text blogging workflow.

Companion piece to academic writing workflow, wherein I will mention plaintext lifestyle choices availalable without the complicated fiddly academic bits such as citations.


How hard can it be?

(long pause)

Software choice

There are lots of tools to do this. There are in fact a few hundred static site generators for plain text blogging.

The top few for academics at least seem to be

As to why I chose Pelican over Jekyll: I am more fluent in Python than Ruby, and those were the two prominent options at the time.

Other well-supported dialects for academics seem to be jekyll-scholar, and the Sphinx extension Ablog is probably effective.

Due to the inscrutable tides of hype, Hugo/Blogdown might be the most popular move now, especially if you want to access the mind-share of other academics, such as the rbind community.

See also the blogdown-book.

One might also dilate on one’s themes through sphinxtr, the “Sphinx Thesis Resource”, which is similar but thesis-oriented and better suited to longer passages.

On hosting choice

In the past, I used many online services to handle my information; but I’ve been burned too many times by these businesses going under, or being too inflexible to evolve with my workflow, or relying on me being constantly online, which is not a given in many parts of the world I want to work. Waste of time, loss of data. (So long,,, evernote, google docs…) Fuck that.

The only online services I use these days are:

I send both of those two latter projects money. On the other other hand, I entrust them with only minimally confidential data.

Editor setup

markdown preview plus and the even more intense markdown preview extended turn atom into a good markdown editor, including mathematical equations.

NB if you want to enable spellcheck for MPP, you will need to add to the spell checker scope.

Awaiting refiling

To mention:

Other things to audit for UI goodness: