Aug 11, 2013

I hate Ghost Blogging Platform!

Posted Aug 11, 2013
Hate is such a strong word along with despise, abhor, resent, loathe.. okay I'm just writing synonyms here but the thing is, this is not a hate blog, it's just a response to a blog written by Nitin Khanna. I enjoyed reading the post because it gives a different perspective on the what's not to like in project Ghost.

For those who don't know yet, Ghost is an open source blogging platform started by John O'Nolan. The motive and vision are great. I was immediately hooked and got excited with the idea of a new blogging platform to address the issues of existing ones, plus it will be written in my current favorite framework: Node JS which is based on Javascript.

Upon reading John's idea of his new project, a question popped in my head: will he and his team really achieve the "Just a blogging platform" concept? This aims to focus mainly on publishing content, but at the same time, make it customizable. I don't want to fight the idea, but more of challenge it, because what I'm seeing is this will be a Wordpress-like platform that does everything, but hopefully better. Sure, it will start as "Just a blogging platform" but if it's really that customizable, then there's no stopping anyone from turning this into the next WCM or CMS built for modern times. Just like what happened to WP.

Do we really need another Wordpress like platform?

If you understand what Node JS is addressing, then YES we do need another blogging platforfm. In my experience in using Node JS, from very simple codes like this site to somewhat more complicated ones, like in, I really enjoyed it. Coming from a Java background, it made me excited about web programming again. Simple codes, doing extra-ordinary stuff; much like Ruby on Rails but I don't know, it might be very subjective to say it, but I didn't enjoy RoR as much as I enjoyed programming in Node.

This is the reason why I found Ghost in the first place, because I was looking for a blogging platform / CMS based on Node JS. But since node is still relatively new, I found it difficult to find a pre-built open source systems that just work.

However, Ghost is not really advertising itself as another Wordpress like platform, but more of a blogging platform. It will probably also focus on workflows and workflow customization which is virtually non-existent in other platforms (well, at least natively). Even so, do we need another blogging platform? A new one wouldn't hurt. People arguably just choose between Blogger and Wordpress nowadays. Those who wants more elegance and professionalism would go for Wordpress, those who want more freedom and lesser cost would go for Blogger.

NodeJs, Yes! Really!

Nitin Khanna's point is that Node is not yet ready for prime time: problem with native hosting support, and usability issue for non-developers. I can't speak for the laymans, but as a developer I find it relatively easy to get Node JS up and running, to the point the it can be done in one command. The command can be wrapped in a shell script which an end user can just double click, wait a few minutes and see his/her system live on the internet.

There are already various free and paid hosts that support Node: See the list here. One of the great things about Node is its resource consumption because it doesn't require a huge ram to run, and start-up is also relatively fast. These were my main problem with Grails framework, a Java framework. The framework is great, but it's so bulky and consumes a lot of resource that even a simple application needs at least 512MB of RAM to run normally, and start-up is extremely slow. Node JS I think only needs 256MB to run smoothly. It's relatively easy and less costly to support Node compared to other frameworks, and it's happening right now; more and more hosts are supporting Node.

Nitin's point may still be right though as Node is still new and needs more time to mature. It's getting there, yes, but probably not yet prime time-ready. However, Ghost, when it's released, won't be a mature platform instantly anyway. It will also take time and probably years to be ready for prime time; just enough time for Node to also mature.

Wordpress is here to stay.. well, at least for a while.

Another Nitin's point is how O'Nolan allegedly stole from Wordpress and gave nothing back. Controversial statement which John O'Nolan couldn't resist but to reply in the comment section. It would be cool if he were to also comment in this blog, but I don't have anything controversial to say, haha!

From my perspective, O'Nolan is passionate about writing / blogging and would like to use a platform in which he could really enjoy doing it. I believe WordPress is ALMOST it but still not quite, and this "almost but not quite" feeling probably bothered him everyday; why isn't there a service or a system that he really wants to use? I can relate to this. This is the same reason why I created; for my needs, and help others who have the same needs and wants as I do.

Ghost won't probably replace WP anytime soon. WordPress is a proven platform, whereas Ghost still needs to time to prove itself. And even in the far future, I would see the two, along with other blogging platforms, co-existing to give end users a choice.

Final Words

Many of us, especially software developers / designers, have ideas that pop-up in our head from time to time. Some are great, some are not so great, but only a few really go out their way to make their idea into reality. Not everyone has been given the chance to learn to type stuff and make the computer do something special.  It's almost a god-like skill because it is as if you are creating something out of nothing; the possibility is endless, imagination is your limit. Take advantage of it!

I admire what O'Nolan started. I'm excited to try Ghost now, but unfortunately the code is not yet available publicly. I do wish they release it soon! This part I don't get, why not just release the code immediately. I hate it! I hate Ghost Blogging Platform, haha!

A thought just came to mind.. I wonder if Google would think of upgrading Blogger to use Ghost. Far-fetched.


  1. This title is retarded.

    "I hate Ghost Blogging Platform!"


    "I admire what O'Nolan started. I'm excited to try Ghost now, but
    unfortunately the code is not yet available publicly. I do wish they
    release it soon! This part I don't get, why not just release the code
    immediately. I hate it! I hate Ghost Blogging Platform, haha!"

    Really? bait and switch? grow up.

  2. I must say, you've gone in the right direction with the counter arguments. One of the biggest issues with WP right now is that the owner still needs to act as a server admin, taking care of things like permissions, PHP limits etc. The same problems and more, will exist when Ghost comes along, specially since when it launches, the owner will need to know a lot about pushing code out to AppFog and Heroku in order to get the blog up and running. Even if it's a single line of code, it'll be a hinderance (consider someone who's never used git). But that'll all change with time and I sincerely hope that Ghost will solve all those issues that WordPress has, much like Koken and Oneline have tried to.

    Let's see where this goes. I was surprised when O'Nolan replied to me, and I still wish him luck.

  3. That's a really long title though, thanks for the suggestion, still

  4. I find it hard to criticize the project since it hasn't launched yet; we're just trying to speculate and make comments based on the idea of it.

    Anyway, you replied to me and that's a surprise haha! Thanks for the time

  5. I agree. I got into the HostGhost Beta, so I'm thinking of setting it up and getting to know this beautiful thing...

  6. And now you can get the Ghost admin panel on WordPress with a simple plugin:

  7. This is excellent news! Thanks for pointing it out... :)

  8. What he meant was that we, your readers, expected to see a post detailing why someone hates Ghost, and then here you are exclaiming how excited you are to try the platform.