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July 20, 2016 13:43
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An easy to use static-site compiler written in Haskell that supports LaTeX/PDF and Markdown/HTML posts. Care has been taken to make it as simple and unopinionated as possible.

In other words Heckle is basically Jekyll in Haskell (feat. LaTeX).


Want to use Markdown? Cool. Want to use LaTeX? Cool. Want to use both? Cool.

Also, Jekyll was too OP for my taste. I just wanted to throw some posts in a directory and be ready to roll. My own blog uses Heckle with a ported version of The Hyde Theme so it looks like a Jekyll blog, it's more simple to maintain, and it supports LaTeX posts.



For everybody else

How To

First you need to install Heckle.

  • If you have a mac the easiest way to do so is by running brew install 2016rshah/tools/heckle
  • Alternatively if you want to develop heckle I suggest installing by running stack update && stack install heckle.

After you have heckle installed create the directory you want your blog to be based in (mkdir blog), initialize a git repository, etc.

When you're ready, from inside your new directory run heckle init. That will create a skeleton file structure.

Now finally you can do heckle build to generate your site. If that succeeds, you will have the example blog up and running!

It'll look a little like this:

├── index.html
├── index.html.hkl
├── template.html.hkl
└── posts
    ├── example-latex.pdf
    ├── example-latex.tex
    ├── example-markdown.html


At this point, if you open the resulting index.html file, everything will look pretty awful. But luckily, you can customize just about everything.

(Also, if you want to get up and running quickly with the Hyde theme, follow the instructions in this README. It will look like my blog rather than just the skeleton and you can edit things from there.)


The index.html.hkl will basically be the layout you want for the homepage of your blog. Just make sure it is a valid HTML file (with Javascript, CSS, whatever you want) and make sure to keep the following HTML element wherever you want the list of your blog posts to go:

<ul id="blog-posts"></ul>

Each blog post will be an li element (with the class blog-post) containing an a tag to the post and a div with the date. Heckle will generate something like this:

<li class="blog-post">
    <a class="post-link" href="posts/example-post.pdf">
        Example Post
    <div class="post-date">
        1 January 2015

LaTeX Posts

Heckle will find all the .tex and .pdf file pairs in the posts/ directory and aggregate links to them in your homepage. You will need to compile them yourself (with pdflatex probably) just like you normally would and make sure the resulting PDFs look nice.

You need to ensure that you include a \title and a \date in the preamble of every LaTeX file:

\date{1 January 2015}
\title{Example LaTeX Post}

Valid date formats are outlined below.

When you're satisfied, you can run heckle build again to update the blog.

Markdown Posts

The template.html.hkl file is basically the layout file for your Markdown blog posts. Just make sure it is a valid HTML file (with Javascript, CSS, whatever you want) and make sure to keep the following HTML element wherever you want your blog post content:

<div id="blog-post"></div>

You need to ensure that you include specific commented meta-data including the title, author, and date in every Markdown file. The first three lines of each markdown file need to be formatted as follows:


Valid date formats are outlined below.

Heckle will find all the .md files and convert them to .html with the help of Pandoc. Then it will insert the resulting HTML into your template.html.hkl file at the specified location. Finally, it aggregates links to all the posts in your homepage.

When you're satisfied, you can run heckle build again to update the blog.

Valid Date Formats

These are the valid date formats:

  • 1 January 2016
  • January 1, 2016
  • 9:47AM 1 January 2016
  • 9:47AM January 1, 2016

Feel free to mix and match between the formats. If you would like to support a different date format, let me know by opening an issue.

BlaTeX ?

This project used to be called BlaTeX and was specifically for LaTeX/PDF posts (it did not support Markdown/HTML). It was created over the course of my senior year in high-school as my senior research project. Eventually I decided to support Markdown as well and thus Heckle was born.

See also: