the gitwig static site generator
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readme.md

gitwig

gitwig is another of these blog enabled static site generators. You want some more buzzwords? It's written in python, uses markdown for the content and genshi as a templating engine. As a bonus git is used for deploying the content to the server.

What makes it different from the other projects? Well most of them don't combine them in the way I like :-) The main focus here is, that the rendering of the content to HTML happens on the server and not locally on my machine. This has the main advantage is, that I don't have to wait for my laptop to finish the rendering and deploying all the changes to the server. The main disadvantages might be that there is no good error reporting in place and that the rendering might take longer.

requirements

If you want to use gitwig you need access to a server where you can

  • install python packages
  • add files to your $PATH
  • create git repositories that are accessible from your local machine
  • configure different directories served by a webserver (I would suggest nginx)

blog support

I should define this a little bit more. With "blog support" I mean the automatic creation of daily, monthly, yearly and tag indices. And of cause a blog page, an atom feed and a tag overview page.

how the repositories are used

The basic setup depends on at least three git repositories:

  1. the hub: this is the bare main repository on the server that gets cloned
  2. live: a clone of hub on the server. This is provides the data to render the site in an accessible way
  3. local: a local clone of the hub, where blog posts etc. are added

By using hooks inside the two server repositories, any changes pushed to the hub repository will automatically be rendered.

setup of the server

A short notice: To destinquish between server and local commands I will use s> for the server and l> for local commands

  1. setup the hub repository: s> git init --bare --shared blog-hub.git

  2. clone the live repository: s> git clone <path to hub> blog-live

  3. download the example blog into the live repository, don't clone it!

  4. push the changes to the hub:

    s:live> git add -A
    s:live> git commit -m "import of example blog"
    s:live> git push origin master
    
  5. download this project on your server and run python setup.py install

  6. in the direcotry files are six files that need your attention.

    You will need to move them to their destination as noted below and (except for the config.yaml file) you'll need to adjust the file paths in them and set the execution bit

    1. bare-post-update-hook.sh -> blog-hub.git/hooks/post-update

      This will pull any changes from the hub to the live repository.

    2. live-post-merge-hook.py -> blog-live/hooks/post-merge

      This will render the changes after they were pulled from the hub.

    3. live-post-commit-hook.sh -> blog-live/hooks/post-commit

      This will push any changes commited to the live repository to the hub and render the site.

    4. gitwig-update.py -> in your $PATH as gitwig-update

      This script is run to render the site. You might need to adjust the locale in the script. If you want to change some things – for example adding code highlighting – this is your starting point.

    5. gitwig-inbox.py -> in your $PATH as gitwig-inbox

      This script is to process the inbox folder in your live or local directory.

    6. config.yaml -> blog-live/

      All config possibilities can be found in the settings.py module of the gitwig package.

  7. Adjust your webserver path to point to the deploy directory and the static directory. On my server I keep the deploy directory outside of the live directory and use a symlink to the static directory inside the live repository.

setup of the local machine

l> git clone <url to bare> blog-local
# make some changes to the static page or template
l> git add -A
l> git push origin master

you'll need get a copy of the gitwig-inbox.py file and put it somewhere in your $PATH as gitwig-inbox. Don't forget to adjust the paths in the file and set the execution bit.

That was easy!

your first blog post

Open up your favorite text editor and write something like:

Title: My first blog post with gitwig.
tags:  testing, myblog

This is my first blog post with gitwig.

Save it to your inbox as "my-first-blog-post.md" and then issue the gitwig-inbox command from the command line. If everything worked, you should see the changes on your website.

some unsorted remarks

  • changes to content files like static pages or blog posts will only render this files and related index files
  • if a template file is changed, the complete site will be rerendered
  • the rerendering of the site will not delete old items first. this is intentional.
  • the deploy directory should not be under git control.
  • if a path to a linked file - like an image - does not contain a slash /, the path will be prepended with the setting of media_prefix. Just write your content normally and put all linked stuff in the static/media directory.
  • all headers must be set in a blog post. When you use the gitwig-inbox command, missing header fields will be added to your posts in the inbox.

todos

  • I still think about a possibility to add a cron based mail inbox…
  • and of cause a better documentation. As always. (will propably never happen, as always :-)

An example of such a blog can be found at holgerfrey.de.

Did I forget something? Sure, but I don't know what since I forgot…