The website

The goal is to get a working site up while doing as little work as possible ourselves.


(Copied from Discourse)

Just to reorient ourselves: the reason why I wanted to go with rails because I don't want to write the entire stack myself - there should be pieces that already exist (like an events & calendar system) that we can just plug in.

I'm not married to rails, but I want to see if we can do that with rails before we explore other options. So in this case, I'm prioritizing "getting it done" over having cool tech :P

s/rails/django/g if we decide to go with Django instead.

Of course, we can reimplement this stuff in a "fun" way after we get it working. I've just been a part of too many "let's do boring activity X in fun technology Y" projects that never got finished because X is still boring, even if you're doing X in Haskell. So I think we should take the pragmatic approach here.

What we need

  • An events/calendar system (a wiki page may be sufficient for this)
  • A blog/newsfeed (static blog using Discourse threads for comments could work ok)

A possible solution

Switch to Django (from Rails) and use the web app powering (source) as a starting point for building our main website (the front page).


The following will instantly be available to us:

  • decent looking website designed for a similar cause
  • blog module
  • simple built-in wiki module (consistent looks) (demo)
  • more focused code base, probably easier to hack on than the current ones in use
  • easier deploys: just Python+database+django modules vs. Ruby(main) + Haskell(wiki). Though discourse still needs ruby and docker.


  • a bit of work to transfer the content of the current wiki (gitit based) to the new Django app
  • not worth it if only done because of one single component (e.g. wiki) (not the case, since we'll be building our events/calendar system into the web app)
  • Not clear that we really need an event/calendar app (described as a copy on irc) given the very small number of events we'll have to track. We can use a wiki page instead: scroll down to the upcoming events section on to see an example of this.

Ongoing discussion

There's an ongoing discussion about other possibilities such as:

  • Using static pages for the main website
  • Using static page generators
  • Using org-mode for the front page (demo and source)

Please check out and feel free to add them here