Let’s start with some history. Back in 2002, when I star—
Eh, everybody already heard this. Old man yells at cloud. Complaining that before a webpage had 50 kB, now it has 5 MB, still taking ten seconds to load, even though the connections are hundreds times faster. But why is that? Because nobody cares.
Responsive page layout? Yes! Popup menus? Check! Expanding hamburger navigation? Sure! With pure CSS features, supported for years by all browsers. The goal of this framework is presenting content in the most unobtrusive and lightweight way possible — if you are looking for something that would display a spinner while the megabytes are loading, something that can open a “SIGN UP” popup on page load or interrupt the reading experience with a noisy full-page ad every once a while, this is not what you are looking for.
Why no CSS preprocessors?
The stylesheets consist of only three files, written in pure CSS. No CSS preprocessor needed — in my experience the main reason for a preprocessor was an ability to use variables, but that’s implemented in CSS itself with universal support across browsers, so why bother? Besides that, the files are so small that there’s no need for any minification — server-side compression is simply good enough.
Why a static site generator?
If you are like me, you want a website that presents your main work, not that your main work is presenting websites. So remove the unneeded hassle of paying extra for a dynamic webhosting, installing and maintaining a huge CMS and patching it twice a month for a neverending stream new CVEs. Together with Pelican, m.css provides a solution harnessing the endless possibilities of your local machine to generate a bunch of static HTML files, which you can then upload anywhere. And as a bonus, you have the full control over your content — nothing’s hidden in opaque databases.
Why Pelican and not Jekyll or …?
I love Python and while I’m probably not very good at it (having spent over a decade writing purely C++), I wanted to finally put it into practical use, instead of learning a completely new language. There I also discovered reStructuredText, which, compared to various flavors of Markdown, is very well thought out, amazingly flexible and easily extensible to support everything I need.
Why the name?
To underline that this project is driven by a need for a simple, tiny, nameless low-maintenance thing to power my websites. That my focus is on presenting content with it, not on shifting my career back to web development to flesh this thing out to be the Greatest Web Framework Ever™.