Static page web sites

I came across a video that suggested using google drive as a web hosting solution. This seemed quite a neat idea. I need to examine if I lose anything by not having a web server in-front of it, probably not; there is one which is run and configured by Google. It would however require a static page site. Another reason for having a look at these. Here are my notes.

Why?

Static Page sites are fast and the infrastructure is simple. The alternatives tend to have databases. We are also back to the compiler/interpreter dichotomy, a static site will be generated once and its output served by the httpd (like a compiler) whereas,  a CMS will generate the HTML as each page is called (like an interpreter) from various sources which requires both CPU cycles & interproccess communication overheads.

This article is written by someone who’s moved off them because of the  need for a binary execution environment on the authoring device  but he also identifies github actions as means of minimising this part of the problem

The former solution may mandate a dev/deploy/prod architecture and management and using a database or an sccs to help with concurrency if one has a big team.

What’s around?

I found this, which categorises the best static website generators, from freecodecamp.org. They look at Jekyll, Gatsby, Hugo, Hexo and Wintersmith. I looked at Hugo in May 2018. These five are written in Ruby or node.js, except Hugo, both of which will require an installation on Windows and Linux. (Hugo is written in Go, which also requires such an installation.) The article is unclear as to whether these products are free.

They like Gatsby because it’s popular.

One selection criteria will be the availability of templates. Themeforest have a bunch for Jekyll,  non-free but that’s their business model.

It would seem they got their short-list from staticsite generators .net , some of which seem to have gone, and most of which will require a 3rd party product to woek, although it’s not that surprising and Python comes with most distros of Linux. I found Eleventy , which looks simple to use in itself, but may require a significant number of template files, although perhaps it could be done using CSS.

I seem to remember that a site generator was released with the now defunct Hot Metal Pro. Perhaps they let them go to early?

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