Andrew Whipple

The most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational

Hi Amelie! 👋 🔗

Published 7/2/2017 (Permalink 📌)

For the last couple of months I've been spending a bit of free time here and there cleaning up some of the code that runs this site. The goal? Have a reasonably pretty, moderately useful generic version of this blog engine available!

And so, today I'm open-sourcing version 1.0.0 of "Amelie," the blog engine that powers this site.

I've been running it for about 16 months in various forms, making piecemeal edits and bugfixes and it's finally at the place where I was able to, in a matter of minutes, spin up a whole new server and have it work. So I think that means it's as good a time as any to make it a thing.

Look. I get it. No one cares and no one else is probably gonna use this. And I'm certainly not going to really go through the work to maintain it on the off-chance that someone champs at the bit to contribute. More than anything I wanted an excuse to go through and make things presentable, make it real. I want a coding project out in the world that I'm proud of, and even if the only people who look at it are myself and future job interviewers, that's okay.

Plus this makes it infinitely easier if I want to spin up a new site from scratch using the engine.

Anyway a bit of info on Amelie:

  • It's a lightweight, Node.js blog engine that lives on top of Express
  • It's built to give a middle finger to admin panels and complicated CMS-es, and instead all writing is done by creating and editing Markdown files in a folder
  • Since it's all files in a folder, it works great with Dropbox (and that's how I run this site!)

It's not all peaches and rainbowcorns, of course:

  • It renders everything dynamically, so it's definitely not the most high-performance server (though it can work well if you place it behind a caching server)
  • There's minimal error checking
  • Post publishing is more high-ceremony and error-prone than I'd like
  • There's almost certainly weird bugs and confusing stuff that I missed in code cleanup

If you'd like to give it a try, head on over to its Github page! And if you want to mess around with it and hack it apart, feel free to do so too! In both cases I'd love it if you let me know what you do with it!

Oh, and yeah, you probably have one more question: "Why Amelie?"

Boy oh boy do you have a great 1:59 ahead of you.

  • Andrew W.