Porting Jordan Bowman's (@jrdnbwmn) Detox Theme To Use With Postach.io (@postachio)

I believe it’s best to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. OK, I believe this most of the time. There are a few rare occasions when asking for permission is a necessity. This is not one of those occasions.

Postach.io recently integrated their theme engine with GitHub, allowing users to modify existing Postach.io themes or build their own. Regardless of my personal feelings on their decision, I wanted to test their custom theme functionality for myself and see what could be accomplished with a little effort.

I’m not too attached to any of the existing Postach.io themes so I went searching for a replacement theme, something that was: a) minimal; b) elegant; c) something I’d want to use for my own blog; and d) accessible enough that a port wouldn’t become overwhelming. Enter Jordan Bowman and his beautifully simple Detox theme (for Ghost).


Long story short, the Handlebars-to-Jinja2 port took about five hours (with maybe another hour or two left for cleanup edge-case cleanup). Most of that time was spent waiting for GitHub commits and browser refreshes. With a proper Postach.io development environment and access to the Jinja2 filters, macros, and data context, I suspect I could have finished the port in under two hours, if not quicker. Access to a proper error log would have saved me from a few headaches as well, but a few simple updates to the documentation could make an error log a non-issue too (e.g. post.author, pagination, Jinja2 includes, and a many-to-one Postach.io-to-GitHub setup). Regardless, I accomplished my goal and now have Jordan’s wonderful theme presenting my words. Thank you Jordan. Thank you Postach.io.

For those interested, my port of Jordan’s Detox theme is over here, properly attributed and all. You can fork it and use it with your own Postach.io blog, if you want. Please log any theme issues and I’ll do my best to get them resolved.


Inspired by: First Light by Freddie Hubbard; Oblivion Soundtrack by M83; Homogenic by Björk; Gaucho by Steely Dan