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In Lieu of Fun

This repository contains the website for the In Lieu of Fun webcast.

Episode Metadata

Episodes are stored in Markdown files in the _episodes directory, with each file named like Here NNNN is the episode number, padded with zeroes on the left (e.g., 0014, 0143). Each file has a YAML front matter section giving episode metadata:

  • episode: The episode number [number; required]
  • date: The date when the episode aired [string, "YYYY-MM-DD"; required]
  • youtube: The URL of the episode stream on YouTube [string]
  • crowdcast: The URL of the episode stream on Crowdcast [string]
  • acast: The URL of the episode audio player on Acast [string]
  • audio-file: The direct URL of the episode audio file [string]
  • summary: A brief summary of the episode [string, optional]. If this is provided, it is shown in the Episode Log.
  • tags: A list of category tags for episode content [array of string]. These tags are not currently show, but can be used to filter episodes.
  • links: A list of related hyperlinks [optional]. Shown on the Episode Log.

The body of the episode is arbitrary markdown text that will be displayed on the episode detail page. Episode detail pages are rendered using the layout defined in _layouts/episode.html. The episode log table is rendered by the Liquid template in episodes.html.

To add a new episode, create a new file in the _episodes directory following the format of the existing files, and update the guest list as necessary.

Guest Metadata

All guests are recorded in a single YAML file, _data/guests.yaml. The HTML guest list is rendered by the Liquid template in guests.html. The following data are recorded for each guest:

  • name: Guest name (required)
  • episodes: List of episode numbers attended (required)
  • twitter: Twitter handle (optional)
  • url: Personal website URL (optional)
  • notes: A brief biographical synopsis (optional)


The site content is generated with Jekyll. To test changes locally, run bundle exec jekyll serve and visit the local server in your browser. You can leave this running while you work, it will detect file changes and rebuild as needed. The only caveat is that if you edit the root _config.yml file, you will need to restart it.

First-Time Setup

After cloning the repository for the first time, you will need to install the toolchain, which is not checked in. This is, roughly:

# One-time setup instructions for a fresh clone.

# Install Jekyll and Bundler. On macOS, you may want to include --user-install
gem install jekyll bundler

# Install vendored gems.
git clone ilof
cd ilof
bundle install

Daily Updates

To simplify the process of setting up new episodes, we have written a command-line tool that primes a new episode from its announcement on Twitter. To use it you need to have (or install) Go, then run:

go install

To use the tool, you will need:

Once you have these set up, change directory into a clone of this repository and run:

epdate -edit

If there are new episodes scheduled, this will create one or more new files in the _episodes directory and update _data/guests.yaml. Inspect these and correct any errors or other missing data (the tool is imperfect), then commit and push them up to GitHub.

To make the tool wait and poll until an update is made, run:

epdate -edit -poll-one

The scripts/ script shows how you can combine this with other tools to post an alert when a new episode comes around.

Audio Updates

The Acast channel is updated separately from the main feed, and is updated only irregularly. When it is updated, new audio episodes can be found from the Acast RSS feed.

It is not currently practical to automatically integrate acast updates. The publication date of the audio episode is after the original, but not by any fixed amount, and the episode numbering in the title is usually incorrect (it is probably being filled in by hand based on the previous entries).

To update these episodes, install scancast from the tools repository:

go install

This tool does not require any credentials. When you run scancast, it will fetch the Acast RSS feed and the ILoF episode log, and print out a summary of all the audio episodes listed in the feed whose URLs are not recorded in the episode log. You can (manually) update the episodes based on this output and commit the changes to Git.

URL Structure


The user-facing site is built using Jekyll and hosted on GitHub Pages. The main branch of this repository is the default, and contains the sources and configuration settings for Jekyll, and the site is deployed from the pages branch.

To modify the user-facing site, commit changes to main and push them to GitHub. The "Build and Publish ILoF" workflow will automatically rebuild and (provided there are no errors) deploy the changes.