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Shinmun is a small file based blog engine. Write posts in your favorite editor, track them with git and deploy to Heroku. Small, fast and simple.

tag: 0.3.10

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README.md

Shinmun - a git-based blog engine

Shinmun is a small git-based blog engine. Write posts in your favorite editor, git-push it and serve your blog straight from a repository.

Features

Quickstart

Install the gems:

$ gem sources -a http://gems.github.com
$ gem install rack BlueCloth rubypants coderay mojombo-grit georgi-git_store georgi-kontrol georgi-shinmun

Create a sample blog (this step requires the git executable):

$ shinmun init myblog

This will create a directory with all necessary files. Now start the web server:

$ cd myblog
$ rackup

Browse to the following url:

http://localhost:9292

Voilà, your first blog is up and running!

Writing Posts

Posts can be created by using the shinmun command inside your blog folder:

shinmun post 'The title of the post'

Shinmun will then create a post file in the right place, for example in posts/2008/9/the-title-of-the-post.md. After creating you will probably open the file, set the category and tags and start writing your new article.

Post Format

Each blog post is just a text file with a YAML header and a body. The YAML header is surrounded with 2 lines of 3 dashes. This format is compatible with Jekyll and Github Pages.

The YAML header has following attributes:

  • title: mandatory
  • date: posts need one, pages not
  • category: a post belongs to one category
  • tags: a comma separated list of tags

Example post:

--- 
date: 2008-09-05
category: Ruby
tags: bluecloth, markdown
title: BlueCloth, a Markdown library
---
This is the summary, which is by definition the first paragraph of the
article. The summary shows up in category listings or the index listing.

Syntax highlighting

Thanks to the fantastic highlighting library CodeRay, highlighted code blocks can be embedded easily in Markdown. For Textile support you have to require coderay/for_redcloth. These languages are supported: C, Diff, Javascript, Scheme, CSS, HTML, XML, Java, JSON, RHTML, YAML, Delphi

To activate CodeRay for a code block, you have to declare the language in lower case:

    @@ruby

    def method_missing(id, *args, &block)
      puts "#{id} was called with #{args.inspect}"
    end             

Note that the declaration MUST be followed by a blank line!

Directory layout

  • assets: contains images, stylesheets and javascripts
  • comments: comments are stored as yaml files
  • config: configuration of blog, aggregations and assets
  • posts: post files sorted by year/month.
  • pages: contains static pages
  • templates: ERB templates for layout, posts and others

An example tree:

+ config.ru
+ map.rb
+ helpers.rb
+ assets
  + images
  + stylesheets
  + javascripts      
+ config
  + aggregations.yml
  + assets.yml
  + blog.yml
+ pages
  + about.md
+ posts
  + 2007
  + 2008
    + 9
      + my-article.md
+ templates
  + category.rhtml
  + category.rxml
  + _comments.rhtml
  + _comment_form.rhtml
  + feed.rxml
  + helpers.rb
  + index.rhtml
  + index.rxml
  + layout.rhtml
  + post.rhtml  
  + page.rhtml

Blog configuation

Inside config/blog.yml you set the properties of your blog:

  • title: the title of your blog, used inside templates
  • description: used for RSS
  • language: used for RSS
  • author: used for RSS
  • url: used for RSS
  • categories: a list of categories

Assets

Shinmun serves asset files from your assets directory. Files in the directories assets/stylesheets and assets/javascripts will be served as one file each under the URLs assets/stylesheets.css and assets/javascripts.css. You have to name them accordingly like 1-reset.css and 2-typo.css to define the order.

Templates

Layout and templates are rendered by ERB. The layout is defined in templates/layout.rhtml. The content will be provided in the variable @content. A minimal example:

@@rhtml

<html>
  <head>
    <title><%= @blog.title %></title>
    <%= stylesheet_link_tag 'style' %>
  </head>
  <body>
     <%= @content %>
  </body>
 </html>

The attributes of a post are accessible as instance variables in a template:

@@rhtml

<div class="article">    
  <div class="date">
    <%= date @date %>
  </div>
  <h2><%= @title %></h2>  
  <%= @body %>
  <h3>Comments</h3>
  <!-- comment form -->
</div>

Commenting System

Comments are stored as flat files and encoded as YAML objects. Each post has a corresponding comment file located at comments/<path to post>. So administration of comments is possible by editing the YAML file, which can be done on your local machine, as you can just pull the comments from your live server.

Deployment

Shinmun can server the blog straight from the git repository. So on your webserver initialize a new git repo like:

$ cd /var/www
$ mkdir myblog
$ cd myblog
$ git init

Now on your local machine, you add a new remote repository and push your blog to your server:

$ cd ~/myblog
$ git remote add live ssh://myserver.com/var/www/myblog
$ git push live

On your production server, you just need the rackup file config.ru to run the blog:

$ git checkout config.ru

Now you can run just a pure ruby server or something like Phusion Passenger. Anytime you want to publish a post on your blog, you just write, commit and finally push a post by:

$ git commit -a -m 'new post'
$ git push live

Phusion Passenger

Shinmun is compatible with Phusion Passenger. Install Phusion Passenger as described in my blog post.

Assuming that you are on a Debian or Ubuntu system, you can create a file named /etc/apache2/sites-available/blog:

@@xml

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName myblog.com
    DocumentRoot /var/www/blog/public
</VirtualHost>

Enable the new virtual host:

$ a2ensite myapp

After restarting Apache your blog should run on Apache on your desired domain:

$ /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Web Frontend

The example blog has a builtin web frontend. Currently it only works on localhost:9292.

The frontend allows you to create, edit, read or delete posts or pages. Editing a post shows up a form with the wmd editor. You have to look yourself for a correct YAML header, otherwise you will get incorrect results.

One nice thing about the frontend is the Commits page, where you can look at a list of recent commits. Clicking on a commit brings you to a single commit overview, where you can inspect changes introduced by this particular commit.

GitHub Project

Download or fork the package at my github repository

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