A brief meditation of the cost of maintenance, and upgrading to Jekyll 4.0.

Lately I’ve been thinking a fair bit about maintenance, and the importance of not just ignoring it. And how hard it is to not ignore it when our minds just really really want the shiny new novel things.

Today I upgraded to Jekyll 4.0, and it was…hard. The upgrade process of Jekyll itself was decidedly not hard. It was seriously so easy - there’s a page dedicated to doing it. The number of breaking changes didn’t even cause me to bat an eyelid as a battered and bruised Javascript developer dealing with the whiplash of millions of npm packages sitting in each of my project folders.

The harder aspect was actually learning the tooling around Ruby and Bundler, which I am not familiar with and didn’t really think about the ramifications of when I ported over from Wordpress to Jekyll some three years ago. Yeah…

It was kinda funny because for the first time I stopped and realised that maybe I shouldn’t be making fun of all those folks using Gatsby and, by extension Javascript, to manage their static site generated blogs.

At least I’d have a hope in hell of debugging the five different things that went wrong along the way (misaligned version of Ruby, cryptic failures with my Gemlock file, demanding and confusing version resolution algorithms that don’t give you an easy solution when they fail). I would probably understand how to resolve all of that with npm!

I’ve been trying to cull down the number of things I have to adopt, manage, or regularly repair, and though I do love this blog I am thinking long and hard about the maintenance cost of it.

Anyway, now I’m up to date with the latest version of Jekyll 🥳