I just rebuilt my website with Hakyll, a library for generating static sites. No major visual changes: the design remains almost the same except I’m now using the newest KNACSS version and I dropped Geomicons for Font awesome. I also took advantage of this change to add a new blog to my website, I’ll try to keep it updated weekly (even if we all know it’s impossible ^^).

Why switch from PHP and Laravel to just HTML files? Why a static website generator?

Why a static website generator?

Because, to quote the Hakyll website:

Static sites are fast, secure, easy to deploy, and manageable using version control.

A static, fast, secure and easy to deploy Buckingham’s guard
A static, fast, secure and easy to deploy Buckingham’s guard

I like the idea of using only an Apache web server (yeah, no Nginx for me, I’m old school not anymore, only fools never change their minds ) and deploy my application easily with scp rsync. And, of course, no security breach, it’s not a Wordpress!

But, if HTML files are so cool, why don’t just use HTML files? Generators brings a lot of possibilities for a blog.

How is it working?

As I said, I’m using Hakyll. It’s develop with Haskell but every language has a static site generator available: Pelican in Python, Jekyll in Ruby, Sculpin in PHP…

I don’t think Hakyll is the best one, but I’m currently in functional programming and I really wanted to try to do some Haskell. Hopefully, there is not a lot of Haskell to write and thanks to Yann Esposito’s article, the Haskell part was really easy to do.

After developing the main Haskell file, I just run stack build once to compile my program. Then, to write this blog post, I run stack exec thibaud watch, open http://localhost:8000 and start writing my post with my editor. Each time I save the file, a rebuild is triggered, and I can see the changes directly in my browser. Really efficient workflow!

I write Markdown compiled in HTML thanks to the great Pandoc library. I use an HTML comment <!--more--> to create a « teaser » field. And I also can use HTML to add font awesome character for example like <i class="fa fa-smile-o"></i>. All of the code is on Github, and I’m open to contributions .

What’s remaining to do?

This is a first quick version of my Hakyll website, a lot is remaining:

Thanks for reading me! My English is far from perfect, so I’m open to all remarks, comments and improvements either with Github pull requests or on Twitter.