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Static Site Generators

Wednesday 12 August, 2020

Tags: development musing

I was once against using Static Site Generators. I thought that everything I did had to be complicated and over-engineered to be of any use to myself and produce a satisfying result. Wanting to use a lot of complex technolgies that didn't even fit my original requirements just got in the way of producing any end product at all. In fact, it just put me in the Analysis Paralysis recurring loop of never getting started on my huge backlog of projects in the pipeline.

Rather than trying to impress and produce a huge list of technologies, I've learnt to better pick what suits my requirements from the start. This site makes use of a Static Site Generator, specifically the Flask-Flatpages extension. Why? All this site needs to do is showcase my skillset, projects and be a place where I can easily make updates to the site and write simple, templated content. I don't need an extravagant framework or a complex database. I even make deployments quick with a short bash script that rsyncs the files to the webserver. Lightweight and easy to work with - that's all I needed for this project. It enabled my to finally get unstuck and move forward with development on a regular basis again. For that I'm extremely thankful and it can help motivate you to create more once again.

It doesn't mean that I won't plan to use any complex frameworks and setups in the future and I have projects in the pipeline that would fit those, but reflecting on this experience has enabled me to value picking the "right tools for the job" a lot more. Especially when it comes to dealing with real-life paying customers. You don't want to try and shoehorn in a stack of technologies that really doesn't fit the requirements. Square peg, round hole and all that.

Jon

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