Tag Archives: backend

vee: Tempting, to say the least

I’ve seen one or two cli-based blogging backends over the past couple of years (baker was the last one, I think), but vee might be the first one that has actually tempted me to switch.

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And I can’t even say what it is that I find appealing, except perhaps that it’s very simple, and that alone I find attractive.

The vee executable mostly triggers your $EDITOR, and when you’ve completed a post, it automatically updates an index file. Posts are kept locally in a .vee folder, and can be edited straightaway or by recalling vee to manage and update the contents.

Pages have a customizable format, and you can see there are default links on each page to both the raw content and a “main” target, which probably appears in your browser like a dull FTP folder.

More can be done with vee, but that alone is attractive to me. And I see where vee is supposedly available on sdf.org, which means you might already have access to vee if you have an account there.

I can’t speak to multimedia or embedded content in vee; I suspect though that if you’re interested in using vee, you’re probably not worried about embedding YouTube videos of snails racing. (You thought I was joking, didn’t you?)

I’ve been using WordPress.com for almost a decade now, for this site and its predecessor. In the early days it was a decent option, but the backend gets fatter and fatter with every passing “improvement,” and more and more it’s clear that they’re catering to the mobile user who needs fat buttons, swipe scrolling and one-click posting of pictures of their dumb cat. 😡

So maybe it’s time for a change. I could easily get an account at sdf.org, and adopt vee as the engine behind it. … Hmm. … 😐

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.

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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. 😉