Switching to Nikola

I've been using Wordpress as a blog engine for a while now, but I wasn't happy with it for some reasons:

  • Security. I've never been hit this issue, but some of my friends and colleagues had bad experience with recovering their blogs after sucessfull attacks.
  • It's not easy to sanely backup it. Since Wordpress is a database driven blog engine you have to dump the database, copy the files, etc. Using version control is almost impossible in this scenario.
  • No way to use it offline. That's the time when you want to write something! Of course you can write down things using your favourite text editor, then transfer the text and fix its appearance, but you can't see and use the whole blog.

Since I've been running Wordpress on my own server, I won't complain about other concerns people usually have: PHP, PHP versions, PHP modules, database, file permissions, running not under www-data user, etc.

I've been looking for something that eliminates most of the problems I listed above (the security issue can't be ever eliminated!). Since Python is the most used language at Mozilla RelEng, I've decided to pick up one of the static blog engines/generators listed at Python blog software. Nikola was one of the engines that I had been seeing in the news recently. Also having a blog engine named after your grand father isn't a bad idea. :)

So far I managed to import my old post from Wordpress. However, I'm going to reimport the old post manually, just to be sure that I have all my post in the same format. BTW, Nikola suports reStructuredText and Markdown what is really great.

I still need to figure out what would be the easiest way to put the blog under version control, teach VIM and myself to properly use Nikola.

P.S. I can hilight :)

hello.py

#!/usr/bin/python

import sys


def hello(name='world'):
    print "hello", name

if __name__ == "__main__":
    hello(*sys.argv[1:])

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