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Oded Sharon
Oded Sharon

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Why I created a very simple photo blog generator

My wife recently picked up a new hobby of photography and decided to have a blog to journal her journey, so she went on to find a hosting service that would be: (a) easy to use; and (b) free.Surely you might chuckle as nothing easy comes for free, but we couldn't really figure out why.We tried out different platforms, such as Tumblr or WordpressΒ but having limited to the free version we found ourselves being unable to customise to our dream design.Understanding the needs, I also considered using a static-site generator, such as JekyllΒ but we realised that those normally require being able to write aΒ MarkDown file felt like an incredible hassle compared to whatΒ we want. Why can't we simply copy the images to where they need to go and be done with it?

Intrigued by the challenge I took the time I had during the xmas break to write a simple-photo-blog app, and the basic version does exactly that - copy the files to a folder, whose name will be the post's title and run the app that will automatically upload a compiled html file. zero technical knowledge required (aside from creating folders and copying files).

As xmas break lasted more than one day, I had the time to add additional feature, such as setting publication-date or hashtags, image automated resizing and even supporting video URLs from youtube and VimeoΒ (by simply adding a file with the extension ".video.txt" with the link inside). I even had time to create a small demo. The code itself is also available here.

Setting it up isn't as easy as I would have liked. It still requires creating an account at some free hosting website (we used github), creating the repositoryΒ and adding the "upload" command into the blog-configuration.yaml. There's plenty more room for improvement but I'm satisfied that once the system is running, it's very tech-free.

I often feel that 90% of all the content on the internet is designed for the "people who work on the internet" as the primary target audience. Many times are users required to handle HTML (or Markdown) to get something to work (such as embedding a video) or handle colours in HEX code or any other internet-jargon words (such as IP or bitrate). I think it's a shame as we're making the barrier to connectivity to the internet much more difficult for people who are already struggling while it and these people have amazing things to say or show, if only we give them the right tools to get the job done. The digital divide is a real thing and it's our responsibility as web developers and designers to bridge it.

Top comments (6)

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johnbokma profile image
John Bokma

Very neat. It reminds me a bit of my own static blog generator tumblelog which is also very simple and can do photos in a very similar way. See for an example my blog Plurrrr which is mostly a link blog but also has photos now and then.

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odedshr profile image
Oded Sharon Author

interesting! what's the input for your blog. how tech-y doesn't the author needs to be?

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johnbokma profile image
John Bokma

The Python version is most likely the easiest to get started with. I wrote an article on the installation of tumblelog which is followed by testing tumblelog and getting started with tumblelog.

The input is a single text file which must contain markdown articles separated by % and some meta data, see for example here. I use Emacs in Markdown mode with some additional syntax highlighting which works great.

Feel free to ask any question.

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ty profile image
Ty

Very cool! Love when people use their skills and build projects to scratch their own itch (metaphorically speaking).

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gilbishkosma profile image
Gilbish

It looks good, i will give it a try

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odedshr profile image
Oded Sharon Author

that would be awesome, I'll be help to guide you through/ receive any feedback to make it fit your needs better

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