You will be locked-in somehow
Legacy security alarm

In the last few years i gave blogging and static sites generators a try since i had a few occasions where i needed to publish a site quickly and on a shoestring (for non professional stuff e.g. blogs, commercial activities, friends...etc), what i noticed is that no matter the tech stack you will be locked in somehow (yeah many will not agree with me but that's a fair point to discuss on various levels not only on static site generators but also other topics such as Cloud and SaaS)


What do we mean by Lock-in?

By Lock-in in the tech jargon but also in marketing (as noted here) we basically mean that the end customer is unable to switch or change platform without sustaining a large cost because of barriers (could be money, time, effort... etc)

In my specific case what i noticed is that by using any of the public available static content generators you will always be stuck with what you start with unless you find a way via time, money or effort to migrate away.

Popular frameworks/static content generators:

- GatsbyJS

- GoHugo

- Next.js

- Jekyll

- Grav CMS

A recurring example happened to me:

We do create for customer/friend XYZ a static site with GatsbyJS

Everything works great, we have our own git repo and few commands to develop and publish the site

After 6-9 months customer XYZ wants to renovate the website or migrate away 

We go to our repo and notice that the maintainer of that theme has abandoned the project (FE projects seem to have a very short lifespan...because of constantly changing products requirements i assume)

What is our situation here, basically we are stuck with an unmaintained project with possible vulnerabilities on it and in order to export we require a manual effort or writing our own "post exporter" since we used their YAML post syntax/formatting


In this case we can call it a soft Lock-in since the only effort was to manually migrate post onto another static platform (but imagine this on a large scale/companies, this is what legacy is built on)

The Pattern

If you noticed in your SaaS/tech history most likely found that pattern on many technologies (Digital but also Analog) that's why you see on the top an image of a security alarm because even today we are still following the same patter of Lock-in / Migrate or Rebuild / Lock-in also in everyday technology taking security alarms industry as an example we can see:

- Legacy alarms not being able to be re-used (Sensors are the only thing that could still be compatible but are the cheapest part of the system)

- IoT fresh alarms not being updated over time thus full of vulnerabilities and overtime you need to replace them, for example change the central unit, buy the new software upgrade, change the alarm siren etc..

The solution (?)

By closing this post i wanted to give a brief summary on what solution i think was the best for my understanding, taking always for example blogging/static sites generation:

- Maintaining costs are rising up

- Devs are leaving projects in favour of new ones

- Static sites are not my main business

The solution in these cases could be to always leverage or use the services offered by someone who does is as a core business (and thus still a Lock-in), because in order for them to keep the business they will need to be able to maintain their platform and never leave behind their service (except some rare cases cough cough or also other public known providers)


This is why i migrated also my blog from those static generators to Blogger, that also made me think why such platform as Wordpress & co are giants on today's market and won't be replaced in the near future by static site generators (even if they have almost the same Lock-in approach but guarantee the service)

The same discussion i opened on top of this post could perfectly fit on Datacenter vs Cloud but needs some other considerations that i didn't take here (Long run maintenance costs, People costs, Commitments, Responsibilities etc..)