inessential by Brent Simmons

Blogging System Rewrite

I realized that I want my blog to be me on the web. This used to be true, but then along came Twitter, and then my presence got split up between two places.

To make this work, I needed two things that my old system from 2009 didn’t provide:

  1. Title-less posts, and
  2. The ability to run the site generator on my server, not just on my Mac.

In other words, I needed to be able to write tweet-like posts with no title — while on the go, on my iPhone or iPad.

I’ve done #1 and part of #2 — now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to deploy the system to my server (which is a shared host on Dreamhost, but where I can run CGI scripts).

The code’s up on GitHub. I don’t really expect other people to use it, but you can, if you want to. I apologize in advance for not having time to write extensive documentation or provide support.

The system’s pretty fast: it rebuilds this almost 20-year-old blog in about three seconds on a five-year-old iMac. The code is, I hope, understandable and hackable, and I welcome you to fork it if it interests you.

* * *

Another part of this: I’ll stop using This blog will be my blog and my microblog. I want just one place that’s me.

I don’t know if I’ll have my posts here automatically echoed to my Twitter account. Maybe. They do already appear on

PS Titles were always optional for RSS, but most feed readers don’t handle this well. Evergreen was written with this in mind. (It’s not 1.0 yet, though. Working on it!)