Goodbye SPIP, hello Hyde!

Or "how I learned to stop worrying and love static website generators".

Back at the end of the 90s, when I was still studying at the University and developing my first webpages by hand, I came up with some scripts to help me speed up the job, by generating the repetitive code for me. Everything was static HTML (and later, CSS), generated from some text files.

Then, CMS systems came. Mainly based on PHP and MySQL, they transformed the way webpages were being made and made the above systems look kind of “archaic”. I started using one of these, SPIP, for both my personal webpage and some other web projects.

CMS systems are great, especially if you have a site that needs to be edited by a number of people. Anyway, but for a personal, low-traffic website, they can be kind of overkill. And static webpage generators have evolved across the years to become something much more advanced than my simple “set of scripts”.

Personally, I love the possibility to create and update my entire website offline in a small netbook while I’m commuting in the train. I wouldn’t have this flexibility if I was using a CMS. And last but not least, it’s much more efficient to serve static code than going through the PHP interpreter plus the database queries. Not much of a concern for this humble site, but still “geekily attractive”.

So, while I still love SPIP (others love Joomla, or Wordpress, or whatever…), my current tool of choice to build this new version of my personal website is Hyde. Long life to static website generators!