Positive side effects of using Sculpin

Few weeks ago, we relaunched our ZgPHP user group website. It brought some changes and one very positive effect that we did not expect.

We left Wordpress platform — none of organisers was really comfortable using it. Yes, it made writing and publishing easy, but it required some maintenance as well as some head scratching when bigger changes in site structure needed to be made. It felt as if we were changing our processes and ideas to fit website, instead other way around.

Ivan was fiddling around static site generators for quite a while. The design that you are looking at was actually made for use with Jekyll in mind. He event went so far and built Starship — because Miro was not happy about using a Ruby tool for generating ZgPHP website. And if you are looking for even more drama, Miro later changed his mind about Jekyll. But I digress…

Enter Sculpin, new kid on the block that hit the PHP community, or at least static sites lovin’ community, by storm. Built on top of Symfony components, well architectured and extendable, proved to be a good pick and decision to migrate was made quickly and our website was up and running.

Adding new content is a breeze, but what we did not expect was that collaboration and community input would actually make our life easier.

Since complete content is available on Github, anyone can make a pull request. It made preparation of monthly meetups much easier. We would prepare an article, announcing next meetup with talk topics and send a link to speakers saying: “here is what we published, feel free to submit changes, fix errors or add links”. Similarly, after meetup was over and session videos were published, we are only one pull request away from having site updated with talk slides or additional info. All that, with minimal involvement from organisers.

Now I have to figure out what to do with all this free time…

Update: we made Sculpin publish itself with a little help from Travis CI