A couple of months ago, I decided it was time for me to return to the glamorous world of blogging. After brief stints with most of the available options (including Markdown-based engines that would render static sites, like the great OctoPress), I decided none of them really worked the way I wanted, so I wrote my own.
It's called Schnitzelpress, and I just tagged version 0.1.0 earlier. That doesn't seem like much, but it's already happily powering this site as well as my personal blog. It's written in Ruby, optimized for Heroku (so much that it goes a long way on a single, free Heroku dyno), uses MongoDB for storage, has a web-based administration interface that uses BrowserID for authentication, and, of course, uses Markdown everywhere.
It will happily embed source code snippets (with beautiful syntax highlighting, of course), images, YouTube videos, SoundCloud tracks and more, all through the magic of oEmbed.
It also comes with a great design template that's all semantic, responsive HTML5, ready for mobile devices (try it on this site; resize your browser window, or browse the site on your smart phone.)
It further features integration with Twitter, Disqus Comments, Google Analytics and the fantastic Gaug.es. Of course it also provides an ATOM feed of your latest posts, with a well-behaved
/feed redirect entry point for transparent integration of services like FeedBurner.
Regarding customization, it's HAML and SASS all the way. In fact, Schnitzelpress has also given birth to its own CSS framework called Schnitzelstyle, which I will be blogging about in detail in the near future. Schnitzelstyle, besides being pretty awesome overall, allows you to customize the entire look of your site by setting just a few configuration variables. (Among other things, it will happily adjust all colors on your site to three core colors you provide! It's pretty cool.)
Now that the first minor version is released, it's time to write some documentation. I'm totally on it, and trust me, it's not going to assume that everyone out there is a hacker! But for the time being, the best piece of documentation on how to set up your own blog is the Quick Start for Hackers guide. If you're a normal person, you'll probably hate it, but don't worry, I'm not forgetting about you!
So, dear friends, please give Schnitzelpress 0.1.0 a whirl and tell me what you think. If you find any bugs, please add an issue to the Schnitzelpress Issue Tracker on Github.