nanoc is a web publishing system written in Ruby.
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nanoc 3

nanoc is a simple but very flexible static site generator written in Ruby. It operates on local files, and therefore does not run on the server. nanoc “compiles” the local source files into HTML (usually), by evaluating eRuby, Markdown, etc.

Note: This documentation looks best with Yardoc, not RDoc.


The nanoc web site contains a few useful resources to help you get started with nanoc. If you need further assistance, the following places will help you out:

Source Code Documentation

The source code is located in lib/nanoc and is structured in a few directories:

  • base contains the bare essentials necessary for nanoc to function
    • source_data contains raw, uncompiled content that will be compiled
    • result_data contains the compiled content
    • compilation contains the compilation functionality
  • cli contains the commandline interface
  • data_sources contains the standard data sources ({Nanoc::DataSource} subclasses), such as the filesystem data source
  • extra contains stuff that is not needed by nanoc itself, but which may be used by helpers, data sources, filters or VCSes.
  • filters contains the standard filters ({Nanoc::Filter} subclasses) such as ERB, Markdown, Haml, …
  • helpers contains helpers, which provide functionality some sites may find useful, such as the blogging and tagging helpers
  • tasks contains rake tasks that perform a variety of functions such as validating HTML and CSS, uploading compiled files, …

The namespaces (modules) are organised like this:

  • {Nanoc} is the namespace for everything nanoc-related (obviously). The classes in lib/nanoc/base are part of this module (not Nanoc::Base)
  • {Nanoc::CLI} containing everything related to the commandline tool.
  • {Nanoc::DataSources} contains the data sources
  • {Nanoc::Helpers} contains the helpers
  • {Nanoc::Extra} contains useful stuff not needed by nanoc itself
  • {Nanoc::Filters} contains the (textual) filters

The central class in nanoc is {Nanoc::Site}, so you should start there if you want to explore nanoc from a technical perspective.


nanoc has few dependencies. It is possible to use nanoc programmatically without any dependencies at all, but if you want to use nanoc in a proper way, you’ll likely need some dependencies:

  • The commandline frontend depends on cri.
  • The autocompiler depends on mime-types and rack.
  • Filters and helpers likely have dependencies on their own too.

If you’re developing for nanoc, such as writing custom filters or helpers, you may be interested in the development dependencies:

  • For documentation generation you’ll need yard.
  • For packaging you’ll need rubygems (1.3 or newer).
  • For testing you’ll need mocha and minitest.


(In alphabetical order)

  • Ben Armston
  • Colin Barrett
  • Bil Bas
  • Dmitry Bilunov
  • Fabian Buch
  • Devon Luke Buchanan
  • Stefan Bühler
  • Dan Callahan
  • Brian Candler
  • Jack Chu
  • Michal Cichra
  • Zaiste de Grengolada
  • Vincent Driessen
  • Chris Eppstein
  • Jeff Forcier
  • Riley Goodside
  • Felix Hanley
  • Justin Hileman
  • Starr Horne
  • Daniel Hofstetter
  • Tuomas Kareinen
  • Matt Keveney
  • Kevin Lynagh
  • Nikhil Marathe
  • Daniel Mendler
  • Ale Muñoz
  • John Nishinaga
  • Nicky Peeters
  • Christian Plessl
  • Šime Ramov
  • Xavier Shay
  • Arnau Siches
  • “Soryu”
  • Eric Sunshine
  • Dennis Sutch
  • Matthias Vallentin
  • Ruben Verborgh
  • Scott Vokes
  • Toon Willems


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