baker: A blogging backend for console-minded people

From time to time I wonder if I would benefit by moving all my notes, posts and pages off WordPress.com and hosting it on my own corner of the Internet. It would be a valuable learning experience, even if it would probably be a lot of work.

I probably never will though, mostly because of the time and effort that would involve. But the idea comes to the forefront whenever WordPress.com updates its backend (which is now particularly obtuse) or when I come across a tool like baker.

2014-08-11-6m47421-baker

I don’t have much to show for baker, because baker — as I understand it — generates static posts and pages for uploading to a blog or web site. Give baker a post title and it will generate a markdown file for you, and from there you add on what genius you can supply to the Intarnet.

That’s what you see in the screenshot above, me editing the markdown file that baker generated. Beyond that though, I am afraid I can’t tell you what happens from experience. I understand that, when time comes to publish, baker translates your post into something more Web-like, and prepares it for its journey into digital infinity.

But again, since I don’t have my own site to target, I can only hope that baker does like it promises. I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t; the author has an example of the output here.

I can see two particular benefits to baker. First, if I understand correctly, baker supposedly does everything without the need for esoteric libraries or specialized software. The baker.sh file itself is a short bash script, and the home page insists baker performs its magic with no more than coreutils.

Second, baker can accept the output of other programs as it builds your pages. Embed something like {% snippet cal %} into your markdown draft, and baker will integrate the output of cal into the final post.

Sort of. Don’t expect the same formatting and style as what you see in a terminal. I have tried two or three different commands so far — things like cal or route or just ls — and while the output does show up in your post, it’s definitely just stapled into place without regard to arrangement. Be aware of that.

Of course, for as many times as I’ve lost formatting — or for that matter, content — to the hungry jaws of WordPress.com’s porky backend, I can hardly point fingers at baker.🙄 I could tell stories. …😯

It’s a nifty trick though, and perhaps with some encouragement, baker could evolve into a blogging backend very much intended for terminal-minded people. As it is, baker’s biggest shortcoming is its lack of solid documentation; the readme.md file is exceptionally sparse, and you’ll end up experimenting a lot before you’ll get the exact results you’re after.

Poke around with baker and see if it will satisfy your needs. There is a lot there that I haven’t touched on, and you could discover some magical trick that I hadn’t even noticed baker could do.😉

8 thoughts on “baker: A blogging backend for console-minded people

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      You might be right. A long time ago I used charm to upload posts, but it still required me to touch them up from the WordPress.com maintenance pages. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked — probably still does. I should try it again sometime. …😉

  1. frostyfrog2

    For some reason, this reminds me a lot of Jekyll ( http://jekyllrb.com/ ) which is maintained by some of the Github guys (I believe). It even has the bonus of just hosting your site on github. It’s not something I’d take interrest in personally because I like building my own sites from scratch, but it is kind of neat. Only downside to me is the lack of easy comment support (though pull requests and templates do work xD there is also Discuss, but I don’t quite like them much)

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I should take a look at that. I’m not a WordPress.com hater, but it has become heavier and heavier over the years. The latest rendition makes everything look like a smartphone screen, with giant buttons and oddball scrolling behavior. Maybe it’s time for a change. …😐

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      You may be right. I’m having a hard time remembering if I covered some of the more esoteric programs, and occasionally I find I skipped over something I thought I had already written about.

      A few years back there was a wiki, but I more or less abandoned it in favor of an alphabetized index page. I know it’s not the same animal, but it has been my excuse for procrastinating and constructing a new and proper wiki.😐

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