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It's yet another static site generator. Have you seen jekyll? hyde? Yup. Like those.

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README.rst
https://travis-ci.org/colinta/StrangeCase.png?branch=master:target:https://travis-ci.org/colinta/StrangeCase

The Strange Case of...

It's yet another static site generator. Have you seen jekyll? hyde? Yup. Like those.

But this one is:

  1. Written in python, unlike jekyll
  2. NOT complicated, unlike hyde. And I mean really NOT complicated.

I just read about nanoc, and realized that it is the Ruby equivalent to StrangeCase. I commend them! I had considered porting StrangeCase to Ruby (and maybe I will some day, just for kicks), but for now, I would say to Rubyists: use nanoc.

INSTALLATION

$ pip install StrangeCase
$ scase  # generates the site
$ scase --watch  # generates the site and watches
                 # for changes to source files

HELP!

Already!? Geez:

#strangecase @ irc.freenode.net

(i'm colinta)

QUICK START

  1. In your project folder, make a site/ and public/ folder.

  2. Put index.j2 in site/, and put some html in there.

  3. Add YAML front matter to that file. It looks like this:

    ---
    title: My first StrangeCase site
    ---
    <!doctype html>
    ...
    
  4. Use that YAML in your page using Jinja2's template language syntax:

    ---
    title: My first StrangeCase site
    ---
    <!doctype html>
    <h1>{{ title }}</h1>
    
  5. Run strange case: $ scase

  6. Open public/index.html. You might want to hold onto your jaw, lest it drop to the floor. Yeah, it's not gonna say {{ title }}, it's gonna say My First Page in big letters.

SLOWER START

Whoopity freakin' do, right? Let's add a layout and create a site.

At this point this demo site looks like this:

project
├── public
│   └── index.html
└── site
    └── index.j2

Add a layouts folder, and put a layout in there:

project
├── layouts
│   └── base.j2
├── public
│   └── index.html
└── site
    └── index.j2

layouts/base.j2 looks like this:

<!doctype html>
<head>
  <title>{{ title or "Nifty Wow!" }}</title>
</head>
<body>
{% block content %}
{% endblock %}
</body>

And update index.j2 to use this layout:

---
title: My first StrangeCase site
---
{% extends "layouts/base.j2" %}
{% block content %}
<h1>{{ title }}</h1>
{% endblock %}

You can run StrangeCase again. public/index.html will now have <head> and <body> tags surrounding it.

If you're lost at this point, you should read up on Jinja. We haven't really done anything more than run index.j2 through jinja and wrote the output to index.html.

Now let's add a projects folder and a couple projects. When you add content to your site, put it in the site/ folder. Most simple projects will pretty much only use the site/ folder and a layouts/ folder wth one or two layouts in there.

I'm going to throw a curveball into the project file names. StrangeCase orders files by sorting them by file name. This is important when you go to display images or blogs in order by date. If you want to have them ordered by anything other than filename, you can use a couple different naming schemes at the beginning of the file name. jekyll does a similar thing, btw.

I'm going to add two prefixes so we can see what happens when we process files this way.

project
├── layouts
│   └── base.j2
├── public
│   └── ...
└── site
    ├── index.j2
    └── projects
        ├── 001_2012_02_27_first_project.j2   #
        ├── 002_2012_02_28_second_project.j2  # look over here!
        └── 003_2012_02_27_third_project.j2   #

And here is what each project template looks like:

{% extends "layouts/base.j2" %}

{% block content %}
<h1>{{ title }}</h1>
<p>Project number #{{ order }} started on {{ created_at | date }}</p>
{% endblock %}

A little shorter than our original index.j2. Notice I've left out the YAML front matter, and yet I am using the variables title, order, and created_at. Where do they get their value from?

The file name, and configurators.

001_2012_02_27_first_project
\+/ \---+----/ \-----+-----/
 |      |            |
 |      |            +-title
 |      |
 |      +-created_at
 |
 +-order

In this way, you get some variables for free just by naming your files with a date and/or order prefix. We are looking at the by-product of “configurators”. They are passed the source file name and the config dictionary. There are some that have to run, and some that are optional but enabled by default.

Anyway, if you tried to run StrangeCase right now, you would get the following error:

$ scase
...
jinja2.exceptions.TemplateAssertionError: no filter named 'date'

No worries, there is a date filter built into StrangeCase. It's just not enabled. So add a config.yaml file to the project root:

project
├── config.yaml
├── layouts
│   └── base.j2
├── public
│   └── ...
└── site
    ├── index.j2
    └── projects
        ├── 001_2012_02_27_first_project.j2
        ├── 002_2012_02_28_second_project.j2
        └── 003_2012_02_27_third_project.j2

and add the date filter:

filters:
  date: strange_case.extensions.date.date

Now you can run StrangeCase with no errors, which will generate:

<!doctype html>
<head>
  <title>Nifty Wow!</title>
</head>
<body>

<h1></h1>
<p>Project number #1 started on 27 Feb 2012</p>

</body>

Moving along. Now let's create a project listing at projects/index.j2. We need a way to "fetch" the project pages. This is going to be very easy, because really all that StrangeCase does is build a resource tree. And we can walk that tree using the node names. So if we just iterate over the projects/ folder, we'll have our project nodes.

Add index.j2 to site/projects/

project
├── config.yaml
├── layouts
│   └── base.j2
├── public
│   └── ...
└── site
    ├── index.j2
    └── projects
        ├── index.j2    # <===
        ├── 001_2012_02_27_first_project.j2
        ├── 002_2012_02_28_second_project.j2
        └── 003_2012_02_27_third_project.j2

index.j2:

{% extends "layouts/base.j2" %}

{% block content %}
{% for project in site.projects %}
<p><a href="{{ project.url }}">{{ project.title }}</a></p>
{% endfor %}
{% endblock %}

Iterating over folders is a very easy thing to do in StrangeCase. It's how you do things like create an index page, as we saw here, or create a photo blog (for photo in site.images.my_fun_trip). It is the thing that I wanted to be really easy, because I couldn't figure out, at a glance, how to do it in jekyll or hyde (it is possible in hyde, I think).

Notice that when we iterate over the site.projects folder, it doesn't include the index.html file. Makes sense, though, right? The index page is considered to be the same "page" as the folder. Even though they are seperate nodes, they have the same URL.

To wrap things up, let's make a link to the project page from the home page. Every node has a url property, and you can access pages by their name. "name" is whatever is "leftover" after the created_at date, order and extension have been pulled out. I'll add a link to the second project to demonstrate this:

---
title: My first StrangeCase site
---
{% extends "layouts/base.j2" %}
{% block content %}
<h1>{{ title }}</h1>
<p><a href="{{ site.projects.url }}">Projects</a></p>
<p>My favorite project: <a href="{{ site.projects.second_project.url }}">My second project</a></p>
{% endblock %}

This wraps up the tutorial! Now, I'll explain the inner workings.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Here are some quick little neat things.

  1. You'll need a good, solid config.yaml. Just copy and paste this when you start a new site:

    extensions:
      - strange_case.extensions.misaka.MarkdownExtension
    filters:
      date: strange_case.extensions.date.date
      markdown: strange_case.extensions.misaka.markdown
      json: json.dumps
      sha: strange_case.extensions.hashlib.sha
    processors:
      - strange_case.extensions.image
      - strange_case.extensions.category
      - strange_case.extensions.paginated
      - strange_case.extensions.scss
    
  2. Iterate over a folder of pages, or a folder of assets, using {% for page in site.folder.subfolder %}. There is no "easy" way to iterate over a folder that contains folders - what you really want there is to get the index file of the folder, it will contain the meta data (title, created_at, etc) that you probably want to display in the listing. I will try and fix this, but probably won't until someone asks for it.

  3. Do not mix pages and assets. You can do it, but things get goofy when you try and iterate over the folder. If you {% for page in site.folder %}, you will end up with both types of file. If you really want to mix them, you can iterate over just the pages (and exclude index.html files) using iter_pages, introduced in v4.3.0.

  4. You can assign "pointers" in your YAML front matter. They look like this:

    page ->: site.other.page
    

    If your asset folders are getting unwieldy (site.static.images.posts.pics_of.kittens), use this trick to shorten it down in your template. In this case you must prefix the pointer with my., because jinja will not know how to lookup "page ->" when you say only "page", and I have not devised a workaround yet:

    ---
    pics ->: site.static.images.posts.pics_of.kittens
    ---
    {% for pic in my.pics %}
      <img src="{{ pic.url }}">
    {% endfor %}
    
  5. Page content is simply not available during template generation. For that, I can't help you. That would introduce page dependencies, which would suck.

    If you want a "blurb" or "summary" of a page's content, you'll just have to add it to the page front matter:

    ---
    title: my post
    summary: |
      I think this post is great.  It's all about code:
    
          print "like this"
    ---
    

    Back in your listing, you can run that summary through markdown using a filter:

    {% for post in site.posts %}
    <h3>{{ post.title }}</h3>
    {% if post.summary -%}
    <div class="summary">
      Summary:<br />
      {{ post.summary|markdown }}
    </div>
    {% endif %}
    
  6. As of v4.5.0, you do not have to have a CONFIG dict in your config.py file. Instead, you can create or import functions into that file, and then reference them from your project's config.yaml. For instance, to add a pluralize filter to your project:

    # config.py
    import inflect ; inflect = inflect.engine()
    
    pluralize = inflect.plural
    
    # config.yaml
    filters:
      pluralize: config.pluralize
    

    Interestingly, this was a complete accident. But I've added a test for it, so it's here to stay! :-)

  7. Sometimes you will want to override values, but dont_inherit gets in the way. In those instances, you can add values to override, usually in a folder config.yaml. One common case is to set a folder of images' title to "". The default configurators would set the title based on the name of the file (title_from_name configurator), but it will not if the title is set to anything, even "".

  8. ??? I'll add to this list as needed.

STRANGECASE OVERVIEW

StrangeCase parses all the files and directories in site/ and builds a tree of nodes. At its big, squishy heart, that's what StrangeCase does. Then it runs generate on every node.

  • Files/Folders that match ignore are not processed at all.
  • Folders become FolderNode objects (site/, though, is a RootNode) and scanned recursively.
  • Pages (html and jinja files) become JinjaNode(FileNode) objects.
  • Assets (javascript, css, images) become AssetNode(FileNode) objects.
  • These can be overridden using the type config.
  • Additional nodes can be created by including the appropriate processor and setting the node's type to use that processor. These are things like pagination, tags, images, and categories.

The nodes are placed in a tree:

(root, aka site)                    # RootNode
| static/                           # FolderNode
| | css/                            # FolderNode
| | + style.css                     # AssetNode
| \ image/                          # FolderNode
|   | img1.png                      # AssetNode (or possibly ImageNode)
|   | img2.png                      # AssetNode
|   + img3.png                      # AssetNode
| robots.txt                        # PageNode
| index (index.j2 => index.html)    # PageNode
\ blogs/                            # FolderNode
  | test1 (test1.j2 => test1.html)  # PageNode
  + test2 (test2.j2 => test2.html)  # PageNode

SOO? WHA' HAPPENED?

1 - Build stage

In the build stage, StrangeCase is looking at the files and folders in site/. First a root node is created:

root_node = build_node(config, site_path, deploy_path, '')[0]

The build_node method configures and processes the node. configures means that it passes the source_path and config to each of the configurators (we saw these working in the tutorial above: created_at_from_name, order_from_name, and title_from_name in particular). processes means that one or more nodes are instantiated and added to the node tree. The root_node sits at the top, and in your templates you access it using {{ site }}.

This process continues recursively for every file and folder in site (except ignore-d files).

1.a - Configuration

When you run StrangeCase, it starts building a config object, a dictionary (actually an instance of ConfigDict, which extends dict). This object (and clones of it) will be used throughout the generation of your site, so it is important to understand what it does, and how you control it.

First, strange_case_config.py establishes the initial defaults. Look at that file, or read about the defaults below. Next, the project config file is merged in. This is the config.yaml file that sits at the top of your project. Then command-line arguments are processed. Finally, if a function is assigned to config_hook, it will be passed the configuration, and it is expected to throw errors or make changes to that object as needed. This is how "scaffolding" is accomplished, which is actually just a StrangeCase extension and a few handy site/ folders.

When a new node is being built, it is given a copy of the config dictionary and passed through the configurators. These add properties to the config dict that are specific to the node that is going to be built, including specifying what type of node will be built. The default list of configurators is in strange_case_config.py.

Nodes inherit all the configuration of the parent node except for the keys that are in dont_inherit (name, target_name, type, and most of the properties that are assigned by configurators).

If the node is a folder, the special file config.yaml will be merged into that node if it exists. If it is a file node, the parent folder's config is checked for a files entry, and if the current file is in there, that config is merged in.

page types can have YAML front matter, which we've read all about already.

See the section below that outlines the default config, and how those options affect processing. Know this: everything is controlled using config. If you're trying to do something complicated and having trouble, please create an issue. I'd like to compile a list of HOWTOs/FAQs.

1.b - Processors

During the build stage, page, folder, and asset nodes are created using processors. There are four built-in processors, and more available as extensions. One important thing to note here is that assets and pages are differentiated only by the fact that one of them is passed through Jinja2. If you want to process a JavaScript file through Jinja2, you should associate *.js with the page type, or set type: page in the parent folder config.yaml file (using the files: dictionary):

file_types:
    - [page, '*.js']
# or, if you want to only process a couple files:
    - [page, ['special.js', 'special-2.js']]

# or assign the 'page' processor
files:
  special.js: { type: page }

type is not inherited, but file_types is, so you can set a whole folder of assets to become page nodes using this config.

Processors are kind of tricky to build, because they need to have a firm understanding of the build process. If you're feeling industrious, there are plenty of existing extensions (category and pagination) that can push you in the right direction.

2 - Populating

If you are using the category processor this stage is important. If you're not, it won't matter so much.

Some nodes can't know what content they will generate until the entire site is scanned. Like categories! We need to know all the pages in the site before we know what all the categories are, and how many pages have that category.

These nodes are stored as Processor``s, and they are nodes that say "hold on, I'm not ready yet...".  They must implement a ``populate method, which when called removes the processor node from the tree and replaces itself with nodes (or it can insert nodes elsewhere in the tree, or do nothing I suppose).

If you are writing your own processor, and need to access a node's config, you might want to use the item-index operators, []. If the configuration is not set, you'll get None instead of an AttributeError.

node.thingy     # => AttributeError
node['thingy']  # => None

After the tree is populated, the site is ready to generate. You will have a tree of nodes, with the root node at the top, and it is always named "site".

3 - Generating

The generate method is called on the root node, and recursively on all the children. This is where folders are created, pages are generated, and assets are copied over. If you are using the image processor, you might also have thumbnails created using PIL.

TEMPLATES

In your templates, you have access to anything in the inherited config and in per-page metadata:

/config.yaml:

meta:
  author:
    name: "Colin"

/site/index.j2:

---
title: test
---

<h1>{{ meta.author.name }}</h1>
<h2>{{ title }}</h2>
<h2>{{ my.title }}</h2>

Generates:

<h1>Colin</h1>
<h2>test</h2>
<h2>test</h2>

Node properties

Nodes have a number of useful properties, roughly grouped into:

  • config/metadata like name, title, created_at. This is the big one.
  • website-specific - url, index, is_{page,asset,folder}
  • traversal - parents, children, siblings, iterable

Config

Hopefully by now the importance of the config object has been bored into your head. StrangeCase is all about the config object. That, and the node tree. And that's it. Nothing else. Oh, and templating. Templating, config, and the node tree. That's all it needs. That's it, that's... and this lamp. That's all.

In your templates, the configuration is simply "there". The properties of the current node and all the configuration it has inherited is given to jinja2 as the context. There is, however, one exception to this, which are "pointer" configurations:

---
images ->: site.static.images
---
{{ images|length }}     # wrong
{{ my.images|length }}  # right

I have not bothered to fix this, since I prefer the second syntax. I use the my prefix anytime I'm referring to the YAML front matter - kind of keeps things sane for me. If people clamor for the pointer thing to get fixed it wouldn't be too difficult.

Website

The most used is, of course, node.url. URLs are created by appending the current node's URL to the parent URL. The URL of the site node is assigned by the set_url configurator, and defaults to /. If you want your static site to be in a subfolder, assign something else to the root_url config.

There are other configs used internally, like is_page and index. These are worth looking at. is_page returns True when the node was processed using Jinja - it does not mean that the page is an HTML page, so robots.txt and sitemap.xml will be included in there, too. BUT hey! You can fix that! Add:

---
is_page: false
---

And that node will be excluded, it will considered to be an asset instead. An asset is any file that is not a page. If you want to set is_asset: true above, that is supported, and an infinite loop is avoided, but the "official" stance is that is_asset := ! is_page.

Accessing any node by name

This is a common thing to do in StrangeCase. The name, if it is not explicitly declared, is detemined by the file name. The default configurators will remove ordering (order_from_name) and created_at (created_at_from_name) from the front of the file name, and then the default name (setdefault_name) will be the file name with non-alphanumerics replaced with underscores, lowercased, and the html extension is removed. All other extensions will remain. Examples:

This is a file name - DUH.j2 becomes this_is_a_file_name___duh

WHAT, a great image?.jpg becomes what__a_great_image_jpg

Example of accessing the "Best blog ever" page's URL:

<a href="{{ site.blogs.best_blog_ever.url }}">Best blog ever</a>.

All nodes except the root node (site is the root node, if you haven't noticed) have siblings nodes, a next node, and a prev node. If this is the first / last node, prev / next returns None. siblings always returns a list, and at the minimum the current node will be in there (even the root node, but why you would call site.siblings is beyond me).

There is also an ancestors property, which returns all the parent pages of the node. BUT, in order to be the most useful, this method looks for a node called index on the parents, so instead of getting a list of folder nodes, you will get list of index pages. If you're building a breadcrumb trail, ancestors is your friend, and you'll be glad that the index pages are returned instead of folder nodes.

Iterating over folders

We've already seen this, but I'll include it again for completeness:

{% for blog in site.blogs %}
<p>{{ loop.index }}. {{ blog.title }}</p>
{% endfor %}

=>

<p>1. Blog Title</p>
<p>2. Blog Title</p>

Note: Files named index.html will not be included in this list. This is a very reasonable design decision, but I can imagine a situation where you have a file (think robots.txt) that also doesn't belong in the iterable pages list. So iterable: false is available as a config setting.

Iterate over a folder of images

{% for image in site.static.image %}
<img src="{{ image.url }}" />
{% endfor %}

BAM, how's that for an image listing! This might be my favorite thing in StrangeCase: that folders are iterable. It makes things that were weird in jekyll (site.categories.blablabla) very easy, and intuitive, I think, since you only have to know the folder name of your images/blogs/projects/whatever.

You might want to check out the image processor, explained below. It uses PIL to make thumbnail images.

You can check what kind of node you're working with using the type property ("page", "folder", "asset") or the is_page, is_folder, is_asset methods. Internally is_page is used a lot, and if you mix your page and asset files in the same folders, these are useful for filtering those out in a for loop.

Lastly, the .all() method, and its more specific variants, are very useful if you need to make a sitemap, or to grab the entire node tree at some point. The all() method definition says it all I think:

def all(self, recursive=False, folders=None, pages=None, assets=None, processors=None):
    """
    Returns descendants, ignoring iterability. Folders, assets, and
    pages can all be included or excluded as the case demands.

    If you specify any of folders, pages, assets or processors, only those objects
    will be returned.
    Otherwise all node types will be returned.

    recursive, though, defaults to False.  calling all(True) is the same as all(recursive=True)
    """

The variants are all subsets of all():

def pages(self, recursive=False):
    return self.all(recursive=recursive, pages=True)

def folders(self, recursive=False):
    return self.all(recursive=recursive, folders=True)

def assets(self, recursive=False):
    return self.all(recursive=recursive, assets=True)

def files(self, recursive=False):
    return self.all(recursive=recursive, pages=True, assets=True)

def processors(self, recursive=False):
    return self.all(recursive=recursive, processors=True)

OK, SO

Mostly random thoughts here. Most of what you might want to know about StrangeCase should be here, so expect some repetition.

  • In your project folder (where you execute StrangeCase), you can have config.yaml and/or config.py, and you definitely have a site/ folder, where your site content is stored. There are probably Jinja2 layouts, includes, and who knows what else in the root folder, too.
  • site/ stores site content: templates, assets, folders, and maybe some "special" files like category pages. These are processed, rendered, copied, or ignored, as the case may be (dot-files are ignored, btw!).
  • When StrangeCase is done it places your static site in public/.
  • There are only two special folders: site and public. They can be changed in config (site_path and dest_path).
  • config.yaml stores context variables. It is merged with the default config. Child folders and pages inherit all the config settings of their parent except the variables in dont_inherit:
    • type
    • name
    • target_name
    • title
    • created_at
    • order
  • Template files (.html, .txt, .md) can contain YAML front matter. If the first line is a bunch of dashes (^[-]{3,}$), all lines up to the matching dashes will be treated as YAML and added to that files context variables.
  • Binary files can have front matter, too, but since you can't place it in the file, it is stored in a special files: setting in the parent folder's config.yaml file. It should be a dictionary with the key corresponding to the name of the file, and the value is the front matter for that file. files: entries in config.yaml are not inherited.
  • Everything in config.yaml and YAML front matter is available as a context variable in your templates.
  • Templates are rendered using Jinja2.
  • StrangeCase points Jinja to your project folder, so you can use any directories you want in there to store layouts, macros, and partials.
    • layouts that are in layouts/ are extended using {% extends 'layouts/file.j2' %}
    • includes in anywhere/ are included using {% include 'anywhere/file.j2' %}
    • I suppose the convention is to have layouts/ and includes/ folders.
  • In the project root, config.py is where you can place runtime things, like...
    • if you need to calculate a value (e.g. datetime.time)
    • fetch some data from a database (ewww!)
    • import jinja extensions (or use 'extensions' in config.yaml)
    • import jinja filters (or use 'filters' in config.yaml)
    • register StrangeCase processors (or use 'processors' in config.yaml)
  • If you need a page to be processed differently, set type to the desired file type in the config for that file/folder. For instance, the category index page should be type: categories.
  • You can prefix variables on a page with my. (e.g. my.title or my.parent). I think it looks better in some places because it makes it clear where the content comes from (e.g. {{ my.title }} as opposed to just {{ title }}). Totally optional.
  • Based on the file name, config.yaml, and YAML front matter, some config settings get changed during the build stage. See configurators.py for these methods. See strange_case_config.py for the order.

DEFAULT CONFIG

You should study this to learn a lot about how StrangeCase works. The reason I boast that StrangeCase is simple is because everything it does can be controlled using the config.

If you go looking in strange_case_config for these settings, you won't find them. They have been broken up into configurators. In the early life of StrangeCase, all configuration was done in one file. Now they are broken up into a list of configurator functions, and each function can add defaults. More complicated, but more extensible.

config_file: 'config.yaml'                # name of file that contains config
ignore: ['config.yaml', '.*']             # which files to ignore altogether while building the site
dont_inherit:                             # nodes will not inherit these properties
  - type
  - name
  - target_name
  - title
  - created_at
  - order
  - iterable
  - is_index
  - url
  - skip
file_types:                                 # how files should be processed.  some processors add to this list, like to associate images
    - [page, ['*.j2', '*.jinja2', '*.jinja', '*.html', '*.txt', '*.xml']],   # with the image processor
default_type: asset                       # if this is falsey, unassociated nodes will be ignored.
default_root_type: root                   # you probably shouldn't change this!
default_folder_type: folter               # you probably shouldn't change this!
rename_extensions:                        # which extensions to rename, and to what
  '.j2': '.html',
  '.jinja2': '.html'
  '.jinja': '.html',
  '.md': '.html',
index.html: index.html                    # determines which file is the index file, which in turn determines "iterability" (index pages are not iterable)
html_extension: '.html'                   # files with this extension are html files (`page.is_page` => `True`)

# PROTECTED
# these can only be assigned in the root config file, otherwise they will
# be treated as plain ol' file data
site_path: 'site/'                        # where to find site content
deploy_path: 'public/'                    # where to put the generated site
remove_stale_files: true                  # removes files that were not generated.
dont_remove: ['.*']                       # list of glob patterns to ignore when removing stale files
extensions: []                            # list of Jinja2 extension classes as a dot-separated import path
filters: {}                               # dictionary of `filter_name: filter.method`.
processors: []                            # additional processors.  Processors register themselves as a certain type.
configurators: [                          # list of configurators.  The built-ins do very important things, so overriding this does *bad things*
  meta_before,              # assigns defaults from the configurators ``.defaults`` property
  file_types,               # checks 'file_types' for a pattern that matches the file name
  page_types,               # if you want to use your own template engine, you'll need to add it to this list
  merge_files_config,       # merges files[filename] with filename
  folder_config_file,       # processes folder/config.yaml.  If the folder config contains `ignore: true`, the folder is skipped
  front_matter_config,      # processes YAML front matter.  Again, the file can be ignored using `ignore: true`
  setdefault_name,          # if 'name' isn't assigned explicitly, this assigns it based on the file name and extension
  setdefault_target_name,   # similarly for target_name
  is_index,                 # compares the file name with the 'index.html' config.  if they are the same, it is an index page.
  setdefault_iterable,      # index files are not iterable
  ignore,                   # ignores files based on the 'ignore' setting
  created_at_from_name,     # Gets the date from the file name, and strips it from name.
  order_from_name,          # Gets the order from the file name, and strips it from name.
  title_from_name,          # Assigns the "title" property based on the name.
  set_url,                  # Assigns the "local" part of the URL.  The entire URL is a property of the node object
]

COMMAND LINE OPTIONS

You can override configuration - or add to it - via the command-line. Here are all the command line arguments:

-p, --project: project_path -s, --site: site_path -d, --deploy: deploy_path -r, --remove: remove_stale_files = true (default, but this can override -n) -n, --no-remove: remove_stale_files = false -c, --config: config_file

(and of course)

-w, --watch: watch files for changes

You can set/add arbitrary configuration using any number of key:value arguments:

key:value         any key/value pair

I use this to implement a simple code generator for my Sublime Text 2 plugins. I run:

scase --deploy ../NewProject project:new_project desc:'A great new package'

See My PackageTemplate for an example of how this can be used.

AND THAT'S (pretty much) IT

Jinja2 makes it easy to put pretty complicated logic in templates, which is really the only place for them in this static generator context...

...or is it !? I’m wondering what kind of spaghetti nonsense these templates could end up with (it's like PHP all over again!), and how that could be fixed.

Which leads right into...

REALLY COMPLICATED STUFF

This relates to the config.py and config.yaml files mentioned above.

Take a glance at the colinta.com repository. It does most things that can be done.

You can define extensions, filters, "configurators", and processors.

filters is a dictionary of filter_name: package.path.

extensions is a list of package.paths.

If you specify these in config.py, you can import the extension/filter and assign it to the list. Otherwise, in config.yaml, use a dot-separated path, similar to how you would write an import statement, but include the class name.

There are a couple built-in processors that are not imported & registered by default: categories and image.

In config.py, you can add context variables that need the POWER OF PYTHON. Things like time.time(), datetime.datetime.now().

Example of all this nonsense using config.py:

# import the processors you want to use.  you don't have to do anything with them,
# it is enough just to import them.
from strange_case.extensions import image, categories

# import the extensions and filters.  we still need to add these to CONFIG
from strange_case.extensions.markdown import MarkdownExtension, markdown
from time import time

CONFIG.update({
    'extensions': [MarkdownExtension],
    'filters': {
        'markdown': markdown,
    },
    'time': int(time()),
})

Equivalent in the root config.yaml:

extensions:
  - strange_case.extensions.misaka.MarkdownExtension
filters:
  markdown: strange_case.extensions.markdown
processors:
  - strange_case.extensions.image
  - strange_case.extensions.categories
# cannot assign time to datetime.time.  DANG.

extensions/category.py has an explanation of how processors work, and how it was written. I made it up as I went along, and ended up adding a Processor class that extends Node, and a concept of "populating" the tree after the initial build. Read more in that file. I think it's a good system, but I'm open to friendly suggestions.

Last but not least: configurators. These are really the work horses of StrangeCase. They look at YAML front matter, ignore files, set default processors, and so on. If you need to do the equivalent of a context processor in django, this is where you would do that.

Every configurator in config['configurators'] is given the node config. If it returns nothing, the node is ignored. Otherwise, you can modify the config, or create a whole new one, and return it.

See created_at_from_name for a good example of modifying the config based on the file name.

JINJA FILTERS

StrangeCase includes several Jinja filters that you can use in your templates. Remember that in order to use a filter you must first enable it in your configuration. For example to enable the date filter you must add:

filters:
  date: strange_case.extensions.date.date

This will register a filter named date which is implemented by the function date in the module strange_case.extensions.date.

strange_case.extensions.date.date

This filter formats a date. The input can be any string readble by the dateutil parse() method, or the string "now" for the current date. If no format is specified it is printed as '01 Jan 2000'.

<p>The date is {{ 'now'|date }}.</p>
<p>The date is 06 May 2012.</p>

strange_case.extensions.inflect.pluralize

Pluralizes a variable:

<p>Category - {{ title|pluralize }}
filters:
  pluralize: strange_case.extensions.inflect.pluralize

strange_case.extensions.uuid.uuid

This filter generates a UUID based on the provided input. The UUID is generated by taking a SHA1 hash of the input combined with a namespace identifier. The available namespaces are:

  • dns for fully-qualified domain names as input
  • url for URLs (default)
  • oid for ISO OID input
  • X500 for X.500 DNs in either DER or text format
<id>{{ 'http://myhost.com/articles'|uuid('url') }}</id>

strange_case.extensions.uuid.urn

This filter generates a UUID URN based on the provided input. This is often useful when needing to generate unique identifies that must be URIs, for example when generating an Atom feed.

The UUID is generated by taking a SHA1 hash of the input combined with a namespace identifier. The available namespaces are:

  • dns for fully-qualified domain names as input
  • url for URLs (default)
  • oid for ISO OID input
  • X500 for X.500 DNs in either DER or text format
<id>{{ 'http://myhost.com/articles'|uuid('url') }}</id>

IMAGE PROCESSOR

The image processor uses PIL to create thumbnails. The usual way to do this is to specify the thumbnail size in a parent folder config, and then set type: image on all the image files. This is done in the image folder's config.yaml file:

thumbnails:
    thumb: '480x480'
file_types:
    - [image, '*.jpg']
files:
    img_0001.jpg:
        alt: a great picture
    img_0002.jpg:
    ...

It registers all images to be processed by the image processor, so you don't have to write an entry for every file in the folder.

And of course, enable the image processor in your config.yaml:

processors:
    - strange_case.extensions.image

CATEGORY PROCESSOR

This processor scans your site pages, looking for pages that have a "category" property in their config. For every category, it builds a category_detail page that can list the pages, and a category_index page to list the categories.

Enable the category processor in your config.yaml:

processors:
    - strange_case.extensions.category

And build categories.j2 and category_detail.j2. The category_detail page can be named anything (it will get renamed based on the category), but the categories page will keep its name/title/etc, so give it a sensible name.

In categories.j2 you can use the categories property to iterate over the category_detail pages:

---
type: category_index
---
{% extends 'layouts/base.j2' %}

{% for category in my.categories %}
  <li><a href="{{ category.url }}">{{ category.title }}</a> (<span>{{ category.count }}</span>)</li>
{% endfor %}

In category_detail.j2 you'll have a pages property:

---
type: category_detail
---
{% extends 'layouts/header.j2' %}

{% block content %}
<ul class="posts">
{%- for page in my.pages %}
  <li><a href="{{ page.url }}">{{ page.title }}</a></li>
{%- endfor %}
</ul>
{% endblock %}

PAGINATED PROCESSOR

This processor can break up a large folder of pages. It is designed so that converting from an index.j2 file to a paginated file is easy. Let's say your existing blogs/index.j2 lookes like this:

{% extends 'layouts/base.j2' %}

{% block content %}
<ul>
{% for page in site.blogs %}
    <li><a href="{{ page.url }}">{{ page.title }}</a></li>
{% endfor %}
</ul>
{% endblock content %}

We'll change this to use pagination.

Enable the paginated processor in your config.yaml:

processors:
    - strange_case.extensions.paginated

And change the type to paginated, and update the HTML to use pagination:

----
type: paginated
----
{% extends 'layouts/base.j2' %}

{% block content %}
<ul>
{% for page in my.page %}
    <li><a href="{{ page.url }}">{{ page.title }}</a></li>
{% endfor %}
</ul>

<div class="pagination">
{% if my.page.prev %}<a href="{{ my.page.prev.url }}">&lsaquo; {{ my.page.prev.title }} |</a>
{% else %}&lsaquo;
{% endif %}
{{ my.page }}
{% if my.page.next %}| <a href="{{ my.page.next.url }}">{{ my.page.next.title }} &rsaquo;</a>
{% else %}&rsaquo;
{% endif %}
</div>
{% endblock content %}

SCSS AND CLEVERCSS PROCESSORS

These two get associated with .scss and .clevercss files and compile them to CSS files.

processors:
    - strange_case.extensions.scss
    - strange_case.extensions.clevercss

TESTING

I am currently (as of version 4.0.2) including tests:

> pip install pytest
> py.test

LICENSE

Author: Colin T.A. Gray
Copyright: 2012 Colin T.A. Gray <http://colinta.com/>

Copyright (c) 2012, Colin T.A. Gray All rights reserved.

See LICENSE for more details (it's a simplified BSD license).

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