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check, build, deploy

The Carpentries Website

This is the repository for the new Carpentries website. Please submit additions and fixes as pull requests to our GitHub repository.

Lessons are not stored in this repository: please see the Software Carpentry lessons page, the Data Carpentry lessons page, or the Library Carpentry lessons page for links to the many individual lesson repositories.

The Carpentries (Software, Data, and Library Carpentry) are open projects, and we welcome contributions of all kinds. By contributing, you are agreeing that The Carpentries may redistribute your work under these licenses, and to abide by our code of conduct.


The website uses Jekyll, a static website generator written in Ruby. You need to have Version 2.7.1 or higher of Ruby and the package manager Bundler. (The package manager is used to make sure you use exactly the same versions of the Ruby Gems as we do.) After checking out the repository, please run:

$ bundle install

to install Jekyll and the software it depends on. You may consult Using Jekyll with Pages for further instructions.


Please do not use jekyll build or jekyll serve directly to build or view the website. Instead, you should use the following commands:

  • make or make commands: list available commands.
  • make serve: build files locally and run a server at for viewing. This is the best way to preview the site.
  • make site: build files locally, but do not serve them dynamically.
  • make clean removes the _site directory and any Emacs editor backup files littering the source directories.

The details describes a few more advanced commands as well.


To write a blog post, create a file called _posts/YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD-some-title.html or _posts/YYYY/MM/ (for HTML and Markdown respectively). YYYY is the 4-digit year of the post, MM the 2-digit month, and DD the 2-digit day; some-title can be any hyphenated string of words that do not include special characters such as quotes. Please do not use underscores or periods in the names. When published, your blog post will appear as

The YAML header of a blog post must look like this:

layout: page
authors: ["Your Name"]
title: "A Title-Cased Title for the Post"
date: YYYY-MM-DD
time: "hh:mm:ss"
category: ["Some Category", "Some Other Category"]

where YYYY-MM-DD is replaced by the post's date and hh:mm:ss by the post's time. Note that the time must be quoted so that the colons it contains do not confuse Jekyll's YAML parser. Note also that authors is a list---if the post has more than one author, please format the list like this:

authors: ["First Author", "Second Author", "Third Author"]

rather than running all the authors' names together in one long string.

To create a new page, add a file to the pages directory. This can be written in either Markdown or HTML, and must have the following YAML header:

layout: page-fullwidth
permalink: /some/path/
title: Title in Title Case

You must then also add the page to _data/navigation.yml, which is used to generate the site's pull-down navigation menu.

To add a workshop, fill in the workshop request form online. You should fill in this form even for Self-Organised workshops in order to get your workshop into our database.

The Details

How is the site built and rendered?

The website is build with a GitHub Actions (see this file).

Each time a commit is pushed to the default branch of the repository (main) and every 6 hours, the GitHub Action does the following:

  1. it validates the YAML headers of all the pages and blog posts
  2. it builds the website 1 using the latest versions of our data feeds to generate the dynamic content on the site (list of community members, list of workshops, etc.). For this, we use the Jekyll Get JSON plugin.
  3. it pushes the content of the site to an AWS S3 Bucket
  4. files that have changed since the last website update are invalidated in the AWS CloudFront distribution.

Data Files

The data files for the workshops and the instructors are generated every 6 hours from AMY (via our redash server) by the script in the repository. These files are available at


The files in the _sass and assets directories control the appearance of this site.