John Mann

John Mann

Getting started (again)

I have always loved to write, but I never found the best tool for me to do it. I have used Notepad++, WordPress, Contentful, Gatsby, CalmWriter, the list goes on. I have used Sublime, vim, and even played with emacs, definitely prefer vim over emacs.

But now, I am using VS Code. I live in VS Code on a day-to-day basis. I write code, whether it be Python, JavaScript, Bash scripts, C#, Markdown, HTML, CSS, etc... I love VS Code and I'm pretty comfortable in it, so why switch between 3 different apps to do basically the same thing?

So I created a new post snippet in VS Code

{
    "NewPost": {
        "description": "Create a new post for NextJS",
        "prefix": "new",
        "body": [
            "---\ntitle: \"$1\"\ndate: \"$CURRENT_YEAR-$CURRENT_MONTH-$CURRENT_DATE\"\n---\n\n"
        ]
    }
}

And off I went... I have NextJS generating new code, and I'll work on adding paging for my posts, but with 100% on performance from lighthouse, I'm not too concerned for the time being.

This post was written in VS Code completely. I didn't need to leave to publish it either. I have a deploy script that simply publishes my post.

I think I am going to write a tutorial on how to migrate from WordPress to NextJS.

Now all you WordPress people, don't start yelling at me about how amazing WordPress is. Trust me I know! I have written plug-ins, created entire production quality sites with WordPress. Never wrote my own theme, but definitely have tweaked them. I have attended and spoke at WordCamp conferences. WordPress is for the masses and much of the internet blogs are running on it. I ran on it for 10 years. However, in those 10 years, I didn't write much because of some minor inconveniences. I was worried about SEO, setting a featured images, making sure my excerpt was good enough for the Yost plug-in analyzer, made sure it was readable for my audience, make sure the slug was accurate, make sure that the category is aligned, make sure there is enough content to be Googled correctly... SO MUCH TO WORRY ABOUT to make a successful blog.

Ah, the truth always start at the root premise. I thought I had to do all of that to have a successful blog. I don't. I do write for anything else other than my joy of sharing an idea, thought, concept. I thought I cared about how many people are reading my blog, how many people are commenting, how many people are sharing my ideas with the world. That is not me. I am sure there was a time in my life that I wanted to be famous, recognized, and popular. I don't any more, actually I prefer not to be. So given that new premise, I am using VS Code to write. I installed a simple spellcheck which works great for markdown and I have a static site.

That's it. So if you are reading this, then you found my blog because you are curious and want to know about my thoughts. If you stumbled on to this, welcome and I hope you get something out of one of these posts. If you have questions, I'll do my best to answer through twitter. I'm not on Facebook or Instagram much if at all. I am not on TikTok, although I do enjoy the magic and dance videos. So find me on twitter and I'll chat when I can.

That's all for now. I may do a WordPress -> NextJS tutorial. It is really easy.

It goes like this:

  • Export WordPress and Convert to Markdown - Here is a good tutorial for that
  • Create a NextJS App here
  • Setup some posts, create your own _document.js file for lang="en"
  • Setup firebase (create app, firebase init (select hosting))
  • Run npm run build, npm run export, firebase deploy

TADA - I'll explain more later but that really is enough to get you started. It's crazy how easy technology has made things. One thing I continue to learn is that problems are never difficult, it is the complicated solutions we come up with make the problems difficult.

Simple is almost (there are a few exceptions) ALWAYS the right decision.

Simple does not mean easy.

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