Moving to a new location and celebrating a decade of blogging

Aug 31, 2020

Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to my new blog on github.io, powered by open source. I’ll be shutting down the old one so make sure you update your RSS subscriptions.

10 years of blogging

Can you believe it? I’ve been blogging for 10 years now! At the time I was almost a Microsoft Student Partner and my first blog post (in French) was about cloud computing (which was a new thing back then).

The old blog was built on top of Telligent server. That platform, which also powers the MSDN/technet blogs, had been acquired and sold a couple of time building an ever-growing technical debt in the process. The whole thing has been graciously maintained and hosted by a friend of mine Jean-Sébastien Duchêne for the last decade!

What’s in it for you?

Moving to a much newer stack allows me to build a better blog which translates in a better experience for you. You still have access to an RSS feed for posts in English as well as an RSS feed for posts in French. You also should experience faster pages loading times as the site is statically built (see next section) and it requires very little server side processing to serve you the content. This new blog is also cached on a globally distributed network which means your browser loads the content from a datacenter close to you, not from France.

I hope you will also enjoy the focus on content and community enabled by a minimalist design and the new commenting capability provided by disqus.

The platform capabilities provide code syntax coloring making code samples easier to read for you. This new blog features a rapid switch between the English and the French versions of a post (try it now from the top right corner).

This transition gives me an opportunity to introduce new topics to this blog, I’ve historically been writing mostly about community events, technical solutions and personnal transitions (awards, changing jobs…). I’m not sure yet where this new blog will take us, but I’d like to explore technology and environmental challenges combined for example.

How is it built?

The new blog is hosted on github.io. Here are a couple of reasons why I chose this option as opposed to a SaaS platform like Medium or dev.to:

  • The platform relies on a git repository to store the content.
  • I’m able to use GitHub issues, milestones, and projects to plan blog posts and tasks, which I’m already using for OSS/work.
  • I’m able to use git and Pull Requests to manage my content (again, same tools).
  • The platform features time saving automations (GitHub actions).
  • Content is static HTML/CSS/JS, which means a more performant rendering for you and a smaller footprint for the planet than a dynamic website.

Editing HTML directly can be a lot of fun, but it’s not the most productive thing to do. I’m actually writing my posts in Mardown and Hugo, a static site generator, converts Markdown into HTML automatically for me.

I also wanted to make sure 10 years of content didn’t get lost in the transition. Telligent provides an option to export all your data to a zip bundle (JSON + all resource files). Processing this export with a dotnet core console app convert I crafted, I was able to export my content from Telligent to Hugo. I’m not going to open this code, mostly because it is really ugly and I don’t want to maintain it, but if anyone thing they could use it for them I’ll be happy to send a copy.

Conclusion

I hope you find this change refreshing. Don’t hesitate to leave feedback in the comments!

I’d like to thank all of you for following me over the last decade.


Last edited Apr 5, 2021 by Vincent Biret


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