After nearly 3 months of work I’m proud to announce the first public release of my open source static site generator, Aoife (named after my eldest daughter). Like my daughter, it proved way more difficult than I first imagined! Aoife is pronounced eee-fa.
What’s a static site generator?
A static site generator takes your content in the form of simple text files and converts them into a complete website. Aoife takes text files in the form of Markdown files and renders them into a site. This is completely different to popular dynamic website generators like WordPress which convert your content into HTML every time a visitor requests a page from your server. The main advantage of a static site generator is speed - pages load really fast. Also, since your site is just plain HTML, it’s more secure and there are no WordPress bugs to worry about and no need to constantly update the generator.
Why did you build Aoife?
Mostly because the other available static site generators didn’t meet all of my criteria, the largest being ease of developing themes. I love to change the look of my sites frequently and none of the other generators out there offered that. Aoife, on the other hand, has a powerful theming system that is a doddle to code for. Also, I love Xojo and I wanted to show that it can be used to make more than just another database driven business app.
Aoife is production-ready. In fact, my entire website (garrypettet.com), Go Xojo! and the Aoife documentation site is written in Aoife. There are a few areas that I would like to improve (such as caching build files so speed up build times) and I will get to them. I also want to write a WordPress-to-Aoife importer to help people move away from WordPress to Aoife.
Aoife is free and open source. The source code is over at Github and the precompiled binaries can be found here. I’ve put a lot of effort into writing documentation for Aoife which can be found at the Aoife documentation site.