Static website generation with Java, Maven and JBake


Did you notice?
Last week, we migrated the entire website (1399 files)
to build with Java and Maven, instead of Ruby and Rake.
On the face of it, nothing changed.
But in the sources, for our team of Java developers, it is a game changer.

Our java team can now contribute to the website easily.
Within hours of completing the migration, there was already a commit of one of our developers
who would rather not touch the previous source code with a ten-foot pole.

We built this site.
We built this site on Java and Maven.
We built this site.
We built this site on JBake and Freemarker.

Why a static website generator?

A static website generator transforms templates and content files into a static HTML/JS/CSS website.
This has many advantages over a Content Management System (CMS) for projects such as ours:

  • Hosting is cheap. GitHub pages even hosts static websites for free.
  • The source files go into Git for backup and history.
  • The source files are in plain text:
    • Changes come in as a Pull Request for proper review and CI validation.
    • The sources are open in our IDEs, which encourages refactoring them alongside the code.
      This results in less stale content.

For many years, Awestruct has served us well.
But due to lack of activity, it was time to upgrade.


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