After fiddling around a bit with Octopress, I figured it was time to give other static site generators a try. This time, I figured I’d try using Middleman and port the content over from Octopress.
The basic blog template generated when you type
middleman init -T blog has
code to generate a calendar page which groups pages by year, month and day. I
opted not to enable this, as it’s a lot of pages with very little content.
Instead, I went with a single archive page, and disabled the calendar template
blog.calendar_template = nil in
config.rb. Since the tag and
archive pages are fundamentally the same layout, with minor modifications, I
opted to go with a partial, and passing in either
page_articles, depending on whether it was the archives page or the tags page.
The sidebar is a bit of code I wrote - since Middleman already gives you a list
of articles sorted in reverse-chronological order, all I had to do was pick the
first 5 and link to them. The tags are also available using
they are not necessarily sorted, so I call sort on the object and pass the tag
and associated articles to a block, which simply outputs the tag name and
The general structure is a nested layout, with a top-level layout containing the navbar, a content block and the footer. Below this, is a page layout, which splits the content block into the content column and the sidebar. The post layout, which all the blog posts use, enhances the content column to display the title, post body and a footer for the post timestamp and tag list. The page layout also has support for Disqus commenting.
Finally, since Middleman already has support for syntax highlighting, I added that, and a Solarized SCSS stylesheet for code highlighting. Previous posts with code blocks display this stylesheet.
Middleman also has support for helper functions, which pretty much correspond to Liquid tags, the real difference being that you can write almost any code in the helper function. For example, the tags list that is shown at the bottom of each post is generated using a helper function, which displays a tag or tags icon followed by links to each tag page.