Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Website Construction

I've been using the DocBook Website customization to build my website since the beginning.

First I used the DSSSL stylesheets to built it. They built the website as a single SGML (and later XML) document from multiple input files included into a main organizing file that produced multiple HTML output files, checking all the cross references and building a site map. Unfortunately, this method stopped working in my environment for some reason, and I never had time to figure out why.

I thought I'd see how the XSL stylesheets the DocBook Website customization worked. The architecture for the Website customization changed between the two: now the website was multiple documents, each built from an XML input file and producing an HTML output file, and using the DocBook XSL stylesheet olink cross-document linking for links between the different pages. This necessitated changing all the source files, but even more unfortunately the processing of cross document links consumed so much memory that rebuilding the site took forever, and eventually got to the point where it used more memory than was usually available on my server. (Admittedly, my setup was atypical for DocBook, and perhaps even pathological.)

In disgust, I let my site lie fallow, waiting for some better solution to present itself. Alas, nothing was immediately forthcoming. I really like DocBook for markup, and the “correct” solution would probably be to take Norm Walsh's route and custom-build some DocBook to website software, but frankly I haven't had the time or energy to do that, especially since, if I follow Norm's example, I'd have to take the time to figure out RDF and so forth.

Eventually I decided that I'd try something minimal: adding a new blog using pyBloxsom, which seemed simple enough to be comprehendable. It supported reStructuredText, one of the nicer plaintext markup systems, which was a definite bonus 1. After fiddling around about I got enough for a reasonably comfortable minimalist blog. So, give it a look-see.

1

I hate most WYSIWYG software, and am hoping that using reST regularly for the blog will be lightweight enough that I won't notice the burden.

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