An @benbalter-centric history 
of GitHub Pages and Autoblog

An @benbalter-centric history 
of GitHub Pages and Autoblog

A behind the scenes look at how GitHub Pages came about and how it works today

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Ben Balter

May 02, 2015
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  1. 1.

    ! An @benbalter-centric history 
 of GitHub Pages and Autoblog

    Ben Balter @benbalter government@github.com government.github.com
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    ‣ In the past, building websites with features like consistent

    templates and lists of aggregated content meant setting up complex content management systems. These CMSs consisted of templating logic, application code, and content databases so they could assemble webpages each time they were requested by site visitors. They were complicated systems that depend on many separate applications working together, like a web server to route page requests to a PHP application that uses pre-defined page layout templates to format content that’s stored in a MySQL database. Serving a page request required at least three separate applications all working together — any one failing would bring down the system…
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    ‣ From open source frameworks like Drupal, Wordpress, and Expression

    Engine to multi-million dollar proprietary applications that the government and big corporations procure from companies that also build tanks and battle ships, these systems produce the same exact output: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that web browsers know how to format into the webpages we see. Additional features like RSS or JSON API feeds are just new templates for the same content, and backend workflow modules like those for embedded media and handling email notifications are really separate systems that introduce complexity when integrated with the publishing system.
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    By October I was fed up • 130 outages over

    6 months (24+ hours of downtime) • AWS, Nginx, microcache, APC, opcode, page, and object cache, Varnish, buzzwords++ • WTF is a weekend?!
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    !

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    !

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    ! An @benbalter-centric history 
 of GitHub Pages and Autoblog

    Ben Balter @benbalter government@github.com government.github.com