As much as I enjoyed my time with Ghost, I don’t think it is quite good enough for prime time just yet. It failed on me and the only apparent solution seemed to be to reinstall. I don’t have such patience anymore.
Hello WordPress my old friend, I’ve come to speak with you again.
PS: You can now use markdown with WordPress using a plugin. Neat.
The post 1.x upgrade
So I’ve been off Ghost for a while as I was busy with other stuff. I was on Ghost 0.xx earlier and had to upgrade to the latest and greatest version (obviously, since this is after all, an experiment).
We still need to enter SSH and do it. There isn’t a web-only click based thing that you can do to upgrade yet. I’m sure it will come. What has come is a breath of fresh air, to be honest.
First, I upgraded and installed Ghost-CLI and configured Ghost to use an SQLite database instead of the default needy MySQL database (this is a very small blog).
Now when I need to upgrade, I just need to go to my web server directory, cd to ghost/ and run
And that is it. You’re done. Much better than the previous manual method!
The Third Update
This time it took a step extra. I needed to execute the
npm install --producton command that I used at the time of first install. Maybe it was because I upgraded after a while or some key libraries changed.
Will check tomorrow and update.
It has been a while. I’m back. More content incoming (even though no one actually reads it).
The First Post About Something – Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)
I know.. No Seinfeld pic here.. This is different.
There is no question about it. Attack on Titan is one of the most compelling Manga that I have ever read. I mean if there is a story to tell, the Japanese do it best. Before I start, I haven’t watched the live-action stuff that they’ve made or the Anime (Yeah I haven’t, I found reading the manga a better idea. Get over it!). It has inspired thousands of memes on the Internet and it probably the biggest phenomenon in popular culture coming from Japan in recent years.
It has everything. An overdose of tragedy, enough plot twists to keep your jaw permanently dropped, loads of interesting characters, zero fan service and quite a few sub-plots to keep the story ticking without seeming even remotely uninteresting.
The concept seems simple enough – there are people (like us) and there are titans (like us but much bigger, slightly disfigured, with no genitals, and mostly with little or no intelligence). Titans eat people for fun. From what history in the world is known, the titans appeared about a hundred years ago and started eating people, putting mankind on the brink of extinction. To defend itself, mankind created a massive city divided by three concentric walls – the innermost wall is called Wall Sina, the one after that is called Wall Rose and the outermost is called Wall Maria.
The walls have kept the citizens safe for so much time that they, along with the military, became complacent. All hell breaks loose when a very different looking titan, which is much bigger (height matching that of the walls), called the Colossal Titan makes an appearance, along with his buddy – the Armoured Titan.
"On that day, mankind received a grim reminder. We lived in fear of the titans, and were disgraced to live in these cages we called walls."
-Eren Jaeger, Attack on Titan
But it isn’t that simple once you go past the first few episodes/ chapters. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t spoil this for you. Even if I hate you with all my heart, I wouldn’t spoil this for you. And if you’ve read the manga, you would know that there is a lot to it than just titans and people. The creator, Hajime Isayama, has indeed created a very interesting world that can surprise you every now and then.
Whether you’re inclined towards manga/ anime or not, Attack on Titan is solid storytelling – may it be the manga or the anime (which during the course of this post, I have watched a little).
The Second Update
So, I logged into the Ghost admin panel and saw an update notification staring back at me. Remember my first update?
I didn’t read the changelog. I simply decided to update. This time it was simple. All I did was backup my Ghost directory, wget the latest release, unzipped it (overwriting everything) and restarting the Ghost service. It works fine.
Still not as simple as WordPress, but painless for sure. I think theme updates are more painful.
The First Theme Update
So, I am using the theme Daring By Matthew Lang on this blog as of now. I have also added the Disqus code to the theme for comments.
A few days ago, an update for the theme came out. Normally, I wouldn’t care (I mean if I was on WordPress or something, I definitely wouldn’t). But to fully experience the transition to Ghost for blogging, I decided that it would be unfair for me to ignore this opportunity. So, I downloaded the theme zip from GitHub, made the necessary modifications for comments and the Tweet button, uploaded and applied the theme using the admin interface of Ghost.
The first thing after the page refresh was the not-so-subtle red colour in the heading font. On reading the changelog, I found that the author of this theme had included themes support for post headings, etc.
The Second thing I noticed was a red border on the top of the page. I’m sure people like borders on top, but I don’t. Again, the border colour could be changed using the theme selection in one of the hbs files (it was default.hbs, in case you want to know).
The third thing was the fonts. They were much larger. It made me feel that the subtlety of the theme that made me choose it when I put it to use on this blog was completely lost.
After sometime, I decided to revert to the theme I originally chose (version 0.1.4) and decided to not update the theme until something really breaks. I liked the smaller fonts. I liked the borderless design. I didn’t care for the improvements made to it. I’m sticking with version 0.1.4.
This also made me examine the theme code for Ghost themes and I realised that theme updates are not useful for anyone who is happy with the theme he/ she is using.
The First Update (to Ghost 0.11.1)
So, as a part of managing a blog, installing software updates and patches are important to keep your blog secure and relatively bug free.
I was greeted today in my Admin page that a new update to Ghost was out. This was Ghost 0.11.1. Frankly, I don’t even remember what version I was on.
Normally, I wouldn’t care for the update until it really brought some serious, crazy super-cow powers. But then this is not supposed to be normal. As a part of this experiment, I need to do this. So I headed to the "How to Upgrade Ghost" page and stared at it for 5 minutes before realising how much simpler this is on WordPress. I mean you just click "Update" and it takes a few minutes or seconds and you’re done (of course the ugly part of the process comes when plugins and themes start to misbehave at times but that happens only after a very major upgrade). But, dedicated to the experiment (for myself more than others, wait, others who?!), I decided to do it.
So, the process was not straightforward as a 1-click. It involved taking the blog offline, removing the engine files, making a copy of my content, extracting new files on to the web-server path, resolving dependencies and installing (this was just one command so that was good), realising that I need to also clear the cache, clearing the cache and finally seeing it work.
You’re now looking at a blog with the latest Ghost installed (as on this date it is 0.11.1). It won’t make much of difference to you (or to me for that matter) but it should be slightly improved, I guess. You can see the changelog here.
So yeah, that’s done.
Ok, so I thought Ghost was everything I ever wanted on top of Node.js but I was wrong. It misses the most important thing for every Internet troll ever – the comments section (not that this blog is ever going to get its own Internet troll. Why? Well due to its smashing popularity.
So, I decided to search around to see how I can add comments. Just like WordPress and others (most of which have a dedicated comments module built into them), you have two most popular methods to accomplish this task:
(I know there also is NodeBB and Livefyre but I haven’t seen those in practice much)
I decided to go with Disqus for some reason. It’s straight forward. You go to their website and find an option that says add Disqus to your website. Once you give them the details, they give you a code snippet.
Stating the obvious here: The method to accomplish this is simple. Just copy the code the Disqus guys give you to the place where you want to display the comments, which in this case would be at the end of the post on a post page. If you want comment count to display for each post on the home page, then you have to put the required code in the loop (YES! They have one too, just like WordPress, I mean why wouldn’t they? That’s how Blog engines work. In fact that’s how most stuff works!)
So yeah, and voila! You have comments.
I’m having fun with this so far. Let’s see how it goes..
The First Impression
The most noticeable feature that Ghost has, I mean in comparison with WordPress, is the clean Markdown text editor. I am slightly partial to Markdown over rich text editing for some reason.
The sheer simplicity of the engine makes me want to use it even more. I mean let’s face it, WordPress must have a trillion more plugins/ themes/ features, you’re almost spoilt for choice but this is so simple.
Getting it up was fairly simple. Install Node.js from their official repo, unpack Ghost (The most popular Node.js blog engine), set up the background process, map to port 80 in the httpd, and you’re done. Took a total of 35 minutes but it was 5 minutes, really.