Companion piece to academic writing workflow, wherein I will mention plaintext lifestyle choices availalable without the complicated fiddly academic bits such as citations.
- people who possibly don’t live inside text editors.
- who don’t need equation support.
- who don’t need citation support.
How hard can it be?
The top few for academics at least seem to be
- Jekyll (ruby),
- Hugo (go)
- Pelican (python) and maybe some others.
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.
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, delicious.com, citeulike.org, evernote, google docs…) Fuck that.
The only online services I use these days are:
- Zotero, which avoids the bulk of the above criticisms by the fact that it’s open-source, works great offline, is backed by a presumably comparatively benevolent university, and handles only information that I wish to share.
- github isn’t open-source, but the underlying technology it facilitates, git, is very open-source, and the website itself is replaceable for my purposes, so I’m happy to benefit from the commercial sheen they buff onto to the bare pipes.
- netlify is a hosting/CDN/etc provider with good github integration that one might use instead.
I send both of those two latter projects money. On the other other hand, I entrust them with only minimally confidential data.
NB if you want to enable spellcheck for MPP, you will need to add text.md to the spell checker scope.
gitbook is a markdown website GUI and publishing toolchain
classeur is also one, but focuses even on standard blogs not just nerd websites
“Prose provides a beautifully simple content authoring environment for CMS-free websites. It’s a web-based interface for managing content on GitHub. Use it to create, edit, and delete files, and save your changes directly to GitHub. Host your website on GitHub Pages for free, or set up your own GitHub webhook server.”
livereload integrates several tools, including a GUI, for rendering various blogs on demand. Semi-nerd, semi- public.
caddy is a slick web-server which somehow manages to combine minimalism with rendering blogs.
Gitit is a wiki backed by a git, darcs, or mercurial filestore. Pages and uploaded files can be modified either directly via the VCS’s command-line tools or through the wiki’s web interface. Pandoc is used for markup processing, so pages may be written in (extended) markdown, reStructuredText, LaTeX, HTML, or literate Haskell, and exported in ten different formats, including LaTeX, ConTeXt, DocBook, RTF, OpenOffice ODT, and MediaWiki markup.
The few hundred other static site generators.
Preview tools make it all nicer.
- marked is cheap OSX editor…
- … inspired by notational velocity, specifically nvALT, which has its own noteworthy features, like high tech search.
- Atom has a built-in markdown preview
- mou has an incredible design and is cheap
- and (free! opensource! mou-like design): Macdown
- livereload turns any browser into a preview tool.
Draft, if the offline mode works, might even do all this with a nice UI.
Other things to audit for UI goodness: