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Reading and thinking

Editing my blog online

Posted on  by Tommy Ku

This post is more than 2 years old, it may contain outdated information

Since my blog was first created and even after multiple revamps, there is no online-editing capability, until today as I am writing this post on the web. The solution is surprisingly simple that I couldn’t believe why I haven’t done this earlier.

I use a static site generator called Nanoc to convert posts written in markdown into HTML. One property of a static site generator is that I cannot edit my blog online unlike CMS such as WordPress, I couldn’t edit my blog online.

After an infrastructure change, I am now able to logon to a file editor on PC or mobile and see immediately the change I made on a clone of my blog in DEV environment.


Date flow before this change
Originally, local machine is required to perform any change

Before this infrastructure change has been made, I needed to

In order to make any change blog content, I have to open the posts, written markdown, using text editor, save it, and push it to GitHub such that the CI can compile and deploy the updated pages.

There is no need to change any of the existing flow. The issue that troubles me so far has only been the part where I cannot edit online. Being a lazy, I don’t want to migrate my blog to a headless CMS either — that’ll be an overkill and I don’t like my data being tied to one specific platform.

Therefore, I cloned the existing setup and added online content editing, hopefully together they work as planned.


Date flow after this change
Cloned the whole setup with online file editing, less CI and deployment target

The Dev server I have been using came with Nanoc. Nanoc itself doesn’t listen to file change unless you couple it with Guard, which has been bundled into the release of Nanoc I am running on.

Basically, I run nanoc live and it recompiles the diff every time I save a file. The site sits behind a Nginx reverse proxy with basic auth just like how I did for many things else.

I spent a hour searching online for something I can just easily hook onto a folder so that I can edit the folder content on a web page, ideally with Docker. So far, only File Browser fits the bill, and man it looks and works great.

Isn’t this super obvious? I was surprised when I wrote this setup down on paper, wondering why haven’t I figured it out earlier, and even wasting an afternoon looking at some headless CMS offerings.

The purpose of running my own server and a few web services is so that I can learn to be lazy. And with this zero-migration setup, lazy I am.

How editing online looks like on my laptop
How it looks like when I write on my laptop

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About the author

Profile pic of Tommy Ku

Tommy Ku, a Hong Kong-based Software Engineer experienced developing PHP and Java-based web solutions and passionate in Web technology.

Also a hobbyist digital and film photographer.