Why I choose Middleman as static site builder for this site?


To be honest, I started first with Jekyll. It's most popular static site builder, made by Github, used for gh-pages and there is a lot tutorials and examples around. However, I didn't like feel that Jekyll gave me. Learning 'Liquid' templates was one of the steps I didn't like to take (after 10 years with RoR I prefer erb) and asset pipeline was too limited and unclear for my taste. There are few other things that I did not like, but those two are most important for me. I needed something less opinionated and more powerful. Also, it has to be written in Ruby, that way I can easily modify anything I don't like.


After doing some research on the Internet (read "Googling") I came across Middleman and the name sounded familiar. Then I realized that I know it from ChangeLog podcast. After doing some initial tests I really like it. I allows me to use erb. Version 4 of Middleman doesn't come with any asset pipeline. Basically, you can make your own asset pipeline, use tools that you like, browserify, gulp, webpack, node.js, SCSS, whatever. Or, you can just write standard CSS and JavaScript. Same as Jekyll, you can have multiple layouts and static pages. There are extensions for Middleman, same as for Jekyll, but you can install those with bundler and maintain your own Gemfile.


Middleman was right tool for me, at least for this task. Don't get me wrong, I can see myself using Jekyll for gh-pages in some projects, but not for this task. Building person website is something that takes time, changing it later even more. I want to spend that time using tools and technologies that work fast and well for me.

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