It has been many years I wrote something worthy. A lot has changed since then. In these years front-end development has become more advanced with technologies like ReactJS, Vue, Svelte etc. Static sites need no longer confined to generate-time data and basic text processing. They should be able to make use of web components to better the user experience.

Today, as I look at this space it feels out-dated, pale and buggy. The headers and left-hand pane are not truly responsive. The typography does not properly align. Colors need more work. But these are least of my concerns. As a developer, I still have no true control over the way I write (seldom) and it gets published. For example, why should all posts be in a single folder, or in sub-folders based on date/time, or based on tag names?

With Jekyll setting up the site/blog or adding a new section within the existing one is difficult. Posts can only be recognized and paginated from under the _posts folder. There is no way to filter the posts. The software required to generate locally (ruby, bundler) etc itself takes time to install. And then you run into version issues. It took me 30+ minutes today get Jekyll running again. I believe we developers should do better here.

As I go over the latest documentation (version 4.2.2), I can’t find an easy way:

  • to customize functionality using Javascript
  • no way to optimize/thumbnail images directly
  • pull HTTP data to merge into posts
  • creating automatic post excerpt
  • inline/donwload external images
  • support for Velocity templates (yes, I come from Java world)
  • customizing date format to be used
  • and more…

I am sure there would be 3rd party plugins to support some of the above. However, I think this is something that should be supported out of the box. Over the next couple of days, I will evaluate the latest in static site generators. Have heard a lot about Hugo, Gatsby and Next. Time to find a worthy replacement for Jekyll.