Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

Elf Sternberg on how SSG is not a reaction

Tags: quotes ssg

It was literally the first thing we did.

— Elf Sternberg, Static site generation is not a ‘reaction’ to client-site rendering

Strong agree. I’ve heard variations on static site generators being something invented after SPAs turned out to be a less than universal solution. Sounds like Elf’s start was with Muse — an Emacs tool that I heard of but never played with.

I showed up onto the Internet a few years later, so I had a few site-generating frameworks to choose from. WebMake built my site for a couple years. What was that other one? Oh that’s right! Engelschall’s WML! That was fun too.

Oh, and my first interesting project was converting Vim’s text documentation to usable HTML. I had a better version at some point, but this was what I found with the Wayback Machine.

Anyways, there’s also some good points in there about “the eternal amnesia.” That’s one name for — basically, when folks have no foundational context. They think they’re the first ones to think about some issue that was addressed in 1999, or 1968, or ~260 BCE.

The Eternal Amnesia is a consequence of how programming works… it encourages programmers to fill their brains with the sort of intellectual puzzle solving that used to be left to the rare professional mathematician, but without giving us the time to write it all down and explain how it works to other people.

No time to write it and not much time to read it, either. The kind of thoughtful effort it takes to build your context runs counter to the whole “if you got time to lean, you got time to clean” rut we call a work ethic.

Except we don’t really clean either. You know — technical debt? That tag for 90% of the items in your ticket backlog? The backlog that’ll last longer than your job?

Anyways. Yeah. Static site generation has been around for a bit.

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Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-02-01