An Emacs mode to manage Jekyll blogs
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Hyde.el is an Emacs major mode to help create blogs with the excellent Jekyll blogging system. It comes with a front end (hyde.el), a version control backend (hyde-git.el) and an slightly modified version of the stock markdown editing mode that gives you a few bells and whistles while writing posts (hyde-md.el).



Download the all the hyde-*.el files and put them somewhere. Once you do that, add the directory where you put it to your load path like so and require it.

(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/hyde*.el")
(require 'hyde)


There are no hyde specific things you'll have to do for your Jekyll installation. However, there is a .hyde.el file which you can drop into your blog directory which contains blog specific settings. This file will is not something that jekyll is aware of so you might want to update your _config.yml to not process this file.


This mode is a simply a wrapper for a number of shell commands that are used to create and deploy the site. It doesn't maintain any local state (in the form of status files etc.) so if you change your repository manually outside it, just refreshing the buffer will bring it upto date.

It's tailored to the way I work. I keep my posts in a git repository (although I do have a crude DVCS abstraction layer if you're using hg or any other such system). I make changes, commit them and push the repository to github (you can, for example, see this files source at github). After that, I make the site using jekyll manually and then copy it over to my webspace using rsync. I don't use any of the git hooks (yet).


Following are the variables affecting your blog and its management that you can customise

  • hyde-home : The default root directory of your blog
  • hyde-deploy-dir : The directory where jekyll will generate the site for you to deploy
  • hyde-posts-dir : The directory that will contain the actual posts (this is relative to hyde-home and is _posts by default).
  • hyde-drafts-dir : The directory that will contain the post drafts (this is relative to hyde-home and is _drafts by default. You might want to ignore this directory in _config.yml ).
  • hyde/deploy-command : The command used to deploy the site. scp, rsync or whatever else you might please.
  • hyde/jekyll-command : The command used to run jekyll to generate the blog. You can add bits to take care of rvm for you here.
  • hyde/hyde-list-posts-command : The command used to list the posts in the hyde buffer. It is set to "/bin/ls -1tr " by default which will produce a chronologically ordered list. You can change it if you prefer alphabetic or something else.
  • hyde/git/remote : The remote to which the push command should send changes to. origin by default.
  • hyde/git/remote-branch : The branch on which you blog resides and to which the push will happen. master by default.

When you start hyde using M-x hyde, it will prompt you for the directory where your blog resides. All the paths mentioned above (posts-dir etc.) are all relative to this. The directory that you specify here will override hyde-home mentioned above.

Customising any of the above will set them globally (i.e. for all blogs managed by jekyll on your system). If you have multiple blogs which you're managing using jekyll, you can drop a .hyde.el file into the blog directory where you can manually set any of these variables. In this file, you can manually change any of these variables using setq. There is a sample-dot-hyde.el file which shows you how. These settings override the global ones mentioned above and you can have different such settings for different blogs on your system.

The following are commands and predicates used to handle the version control backend. You can change them if you want to add support for a version control system other than git. If it works for you, please send me a pull request and I'll integrate it.

  • hyde/vc-uncommittedp : Predicate to check whether the file is uncommitted
  • hyde/vc-unpushedp : Predicate to check whether the file is not yet pushed
  • hyde/vc-pushedp : Predicate to check if the file has been pushed (inverse of the above)
  • hyde/vc-add : Command to add the file
  • hyde/vc-commit : Command to commit a file
  • hyde/vc-push : Command to push the local changes to the remote end.
  • hyde/vc-rename : Command used to rename a file.


The main interface looks like the following screenshot

Hyde screenshot

The list of posts are presented on top along with a key of what the letters before the post names mean. The post names are also colourised accordingly

The keys you can use at this time are

  • n : Create a new draft.
  • c : Commit the current post
  • P : Push all pending commits (this is only a VC push. Not deployment).
  • j : Run jekyll and create the new version of the site
  • d : Deploy the site.
  • g : Refresh posts (useful if you've done something by hand earlier)
  • p : Promote a post from a draft to a a published post
  • q : Quit hyde.
  • RET : Open the current post for editing.

The markdown mode in which the buffers open up for editing is slightly modified. It has a few extra covenience bindings

  • C-c C-c : Save file and finish editing
  • C-c C-v : Preview file (this is a markdown preview so extra liquid tags will not work).


Hyde supports Octopress by default. The only thing you have to do is to create a directory under source for draft posts and edit the .hyde.el file with the right commands. To see an example, check out the source repository.


This program is licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 3. Please check the LICENSE file for the full text of the license.

To Do

  • Proper previews using a local Jekyll server
  • Keep state of deployment so that we know what posts have been deployed and what not.
  • Use comint instead of shell commands to do all the work.