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Simple static site generator
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Simple static HTML generator with (almost) full control over the source structure.


A simple bash script for generating static HTML pages including an index and an Atom feed. Inspired by NanoBlogger and Jekyll but with less features and more control over the source of the site's content. This is achieved by providing the content through other small scripts.

The central script is the entries script which should provide an ID for all entries of the site. Each of these IDs is then used to generate a single HTML page. The content for such a page is then retrieved by calling the entry/... scripts with the ID as argument. For even more flexibility a entry/plugin file can be created which will be sourced before the entry template is rendered. There you can define or overwrite other custom functions and variables.

Custom HTML templates can be used by simply creating and editing a file with the same name.


Simply clone the git repository in a convenient directory on your system:

$ cd ~/Applications
$ git clone git://

If you want add an alias to your bash profile for easier access to the script:

$ echo "alias 'press'='~/Applications/press/'" >> ~/.profile



First you have to create the directory where your site's defining scripts will be stored:

$ cd ~/Documents
$ mkdir Press

Change into this directory to setup the site. First you need to configure the site's title and URL as these are both needed to generate a valid Atom feed.

$ cd Press
$ echo "Example Press Site" > title
$ echo "" > url

As next step, create a list of the site's entries. The list can either be a script or a plain text file.

$ cat <<EoT > entries

Now you can define the content for each entry. Again this can be done through a script or plain text files. If for example all entries are written by the same author just write his name in a plain text file.

$ mkdir entry
$ echo "John Doe" > entry/author

To get the content of an entry write a script that uses the ID argument to print HTML formatted text in the terminal.

$ cat <<EoT > entry/content
markdown ~/Documents/$ENTRY_ID.mdwn
$ chmod 755 entry/content

All that's left for a valid Atom feed now is the modification date for entries. As this is individual for each entry using a script is recommended. It is important that dates are presented in ISO-8601 date/time format, otherwise your Atom feed will not be valid (and probably also not usable). This means a date or a time should look like this:



Finally you can generate the pages by running the script:

$ press --repo ~/Documents/Press --dest ~/Sites

If you want only to generate the entry pages run the script with the following options:

$ press --repo $REPO --dest $DEST --no-index --no-feed


Shoud you find the default templates not to your liking (as will most likely be the case), you can create your own templates. If they are located in your site's definition directory they will be used automatically. There are five templates:

  • index.html
  • index_entry.html
  • feed.xml
  • feed_entry.xml
  • entry.html

Both the index and feed templates use another template to represent single entries. To display all formatted entries in the index and feed templates use the appropriate function:


All content from the scripts and/or plain text files can also be inserted by bash function calls.

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