A big update was done to SAP.how website. I was trying to resolve 2 main issues:

  1. Local Jekyll builds are not stable, especially on latest Linux versions.
  2. Starting from 2023 GitHub (previous hosting provider for SAP.how) started to be slow or unstable. This is quite unfortunate as we love GitHub.

Moving from Jekyll to Zola

To battle the first issue I decided to switch our static website generator from Ruby-based Jekyll to Rust-based Zola. Another option was Hugo, which seems to be quite popular, however, I am personally more interested in Rust programming language (than Go), so I decided to risk it and go with Zola. Hopefully, I will not regret this decision. The main argument: it is much more likely for me to contribute (by debugging / raising / fixing issues) to a Rust project, than to a Go project, so this is the main driver.

I did went through the quick-start guides for both Zola and Hugo and there are a couple of things I liked about Zola even more:

  • You can jump into building the website without providing a theme. If I would have more time, I would definitely not use a theme at all. I am not sure if it is possible with Hugo, but the documentation suggest using a theme or creating your own.
  • There is a built-in search index you could use without installing any plugins. I saw search is possible using plugins/libraries for Hugo, but I feel search being built-in means there is more attention to it from the development team.
  • Hugo has a built-in drafting functionality, which seems unnecessary. I plan to use git branches for my drafts, which should better in my view.

To be fair, if I would know Go programming language, I would go with Hugo as it is older and much more popular.

SAP.how search engine had to be redone for Zola and now it is much better than before. It better orders pages you were trying to search and you don't have to have an exact match anymore: it will consider results for comparing when you search for compare. There are still a couple of things to improve, but it is definitely the best search SAP.how ever had.

Another consequence of the move is that there is a new theme, which makes the website feel fresh. It is a little heavy on animations, I will see if it have to be adjusted.

Moving from GitHub pages to Cloudflare pages

I love GitHub, but I also like Cloudflare. I heard they don't use AWS to support their infrastructure, which is great in my point of view. I was considering a couple of options (like GitLab), but decided to use Cloudflare pages. The main deciding factor for me is how much time it takes (ping) to reach the corresponding Pages server, where Cloudflare was an absolute winner (below 20 ms). I know, this is not the best metric, as it takes into account only time to connect from my home network to the corresponding server, and other networks would have different results. But the main point was to move from (unfortunately) slow and unstable GitHub to anywhere else.

The new version is up and running, and I hope I will NOT have to change any related infrastructure for another 5 years!

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