Text files, you gotta love them

File cabinet with a drawer opened

I was reading Write plain text files from Derek Sivers and yes, you gotta love text files.

How could you not?

I agree with most of Derek’s points about the greatness of text files. I have been slowly, over the years, converting myself to a textfile believer. I have built backends using text files and NodeJS for parsing them. It’s fun 🤭
For blogging maybe Markdown rather than text files but same thing.

The power of having your content (live logging, blogging, whatever it is) in a format independent of the software to read/display it is fantastic 💯 You can open these files with practically most of your operating system’s built-in apps. If you want to make a site out of it (a CMS such as Hugo or Jekyll will do just fine, and there are even more).

I have sites running with Markdown files, this very same blog started with it. I love the simplicity, the speed of serving, the security (no database, no PHP, just plain HTML). But the pains of publishing content pushed me to move to WordPress:

  • Uploading assets is not as easy as drag and drop.
  • Publishing requires me to have the file repository on my machine, have Git or a GUI for it installed, and commit files.
  • Comment system built-in.

To my surprise, it’s 2022 and two out of 3 pain points have been solved by GitHub:

  1. With just your web browser you can use GitHub.dev to write Markdown and have a live Preview. This is awesome. Nothing else needs to be installed on your machine 👍
  2. You can drag and drop images. Mind = blown 🤯

The only thing left is comments. I don’t get many on this blog but it’s an option I want to have. I do not want to rely on a third-party commenting system. 

Shit 💩

I guess I have work to do now. Find a self-hosted comment system solution and perhaps migrate this blog to Hugo? 🤦‍♂️ I just launched a new WordPress theme re-design 😂

WordPress allows you to export all your content and there are scripts to generate Markdown files out of WordPress’ XML export.

Oh boy, here we go again… 👨‍💻

Ricard

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