October 30, 2018
I've wanted for a long time to create a simple way of blogging that eschews basically all bells and whistles. Many "flat file" Content Management Systems exist already, as well as "static site generators", but none of these that I looked at were simple enough for my liking.
I don't want to have to install Ruby, or Python, or Composer, or whatever else on a server to run a blog. On the other hand, installing WordPress or one of the other popular PHP-based CMSes for this use case is like hammering in a nail with a sledgehammer.
Many people dislike PHP, and while it has its warts, I like it. I like using (vanilla) PHP simply because it is nearly ubiquitous. Having to install or configure it is often unnecessary because it is usually already installed, configured, and running.
I wanted to use plain text files, but some formatting is nice -- Markdown was the obvious solution for this, since it offers quite a lot of options in terms of text formatting, without sacrificing the readability of the plain text itself. I was not keen on adding dependencies but I found Parsedown which offers Markdown parsing by including a single PHP file. I can deal with that.
That's really all there is to it -- dead simple PHP-based templating, and Markdown-formatted plain text content.
I know I'm probably forgetting about a million edge cases, but I want to keep it simple. So, we'll roll with this for now and add features as they become necessary.