Using Jekyll and Prose

I recently began using Jekyll as a blog platform and wrote about my First Impression of Jekyll. All I want to do right now is experiment with Jekyll and continue converting my portfolio. Generally my technology stack at work is defined by Web Architects before I come on to a project. Being able to use Jekyll with Prose and Github is my escape from dull technologies and into something new and exciting.

Jekyll is a Ruby Gem that converts plain text to static websites. The default setup for a website using Jekyll does a good job in templating the website so you can reuse pieces wherever they’re needed. I’ve been a big fan of OOCSS and attempting to abstract code bits into the simplest, most reusable pieces. The template system that Jekyll encourages helps to keep things modular in this way.

Prose is a content editor for Github. The editor has a very simple and clean interface with limited options compared to the rich text editor (rte) in WordPress or Drupal. I consider this a huge benefit. I’ve never liked the rte in WordPress because it has too many options. More often than not, a content editor will screw up the look and feel of the site by getting too overly “creative” with the buttons in the editor. For the sake of consistency and for the overall appearance of a website, having fewer options is better.

It is really nice that I don’t have to worry about the rte creating extra paragraph tags, inline styles, or other unnecessary markup or just bugging out all together. Just good ol’ plain text using Markdown. It’s a refreshing change of pace! That has been my biggest hurdle with other editors and I have wasted countless hours in frustration dealing with glitches and fixing improper markup.

For my own website, I probably won’t use Prose for editing content since I prefer to write the Markdown by hand. But if I were to create a website for a client such as a nonprofit organization, I would set up a workflow for them so they could leverage the rte from Prose and not have to worry about learning Markdown.