Building my Blog with Hugo

For a while now I’ve been using pandoc and a combination of shell scripts to build and deploy my site via a gitlab CI/CD pipeline. Given that I want to start sharing my site to more people I realized I need a way to generate some meta data for each page. In order to this I have to somehow:

  • Tag each page with meta data that other sites can look at
  • Make sure the build system is aware of this new meta-data

Inserting meta data into posts and page source code isn’t too hard but there is the problem of standardizing a format which meets my criteria of:

  • Easy to write
  • Easy to parse
  • Preferably not verbose to keep things small
  • As robust as possible

That last one is the part that makes this really hard to implement if I’m being honest. Yes I could come up with a format and use something like sed or awk to replace markdown with inline HTML and do some wizardy on the compilation script to cat partial html files together properly but… After having already done similar things for other projects I know exactly how painful that can be, especially to do it well.

Why Hugo

  1. Instant support for yaml meta data in each markdown file
  2. Pages are built out of go-templates with javascript
  3. Templates

It’s literally just the templates. The fact is I have two templates that I care about right now: posts and index.

What about styling and making sure you don’t lose the charm of the site?

I can literally re-use the same style sheet from before with Hugo and fonts can also stay where they are. No Javascript is ever compiled and sent to the browser.

What build advantages do you get from this?

Robustness. I can build out tons of pages in reasonable amounts of time with no mysterious errors and have a ton of flexibility when it comes to adapting templates to be something new.

Aren’t you locked into a single theme this way?

Yes but most people’s themes send a ton of Javascript which I don’t want to do ever

Can I see what the theme looks like?

Sure: click here for the theme