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Orogene is a simple static site generator written in Rust. And when I say simple, I really do mean simple.

Given a source directory and the appropriate command line parameters, Orogene can do the following:

  1. Convert Markdown and text files into HTML
  2. Copy that HTML into a template field ({{content}}) in a specified HTML template file
  3. Optionally: Copy the contents of a CSS file into another field ({{style}}) in the specified HTML template file
  4. Optionally: Perform steps 1-3 again, but with a directory containing a set of blog posts, using their own template HTML file which renders their titles and date from YAML front matter, then generate a list of links to those posts and pop it in another template field ({{post_list}}) in one of your pages
  5. Save the resultant HTML files into a new directory, optionally each within their own subdirectory
  6. Optionally: Copy across a single assets directory into the new directory
  7. Optionally: Create an RSS feed file based on the set of generated blog posts
  8. Tell you how long that all took.

The benefits of Orogene are:

  • It's fast. Like, really fast.
  • It's tiny. Like, really tiny (~360 lines of code, excluding comments and whitespace).
  • As a command line utility, it's completely customizable on the fly and can therefore be built into other scripts.
  • It's named after a group of characters in a phenomenally good series of fantasy novels by N. K. Jemisin.

Keep in mind:

  • I think this is standard practice, but Orogene wipes and recreates its output directory every time it runs. Don't keep any files in the ouput directory!

Get started

Orogene needs a couple of things to be set up just the way it likes.

  1. First, you'll need an up-to-date Rust installation.
  2. Clone this GitHub repository and build the binary file:
    $ git clone
    $ cd orogene
    $ cargo build --release
    This will create a binary file at target/release/orogene, which you can add to your $PATH or move to /usr/local/bin.
  3. Orogene will use any set of directories you provide it with, but I prefer the following directory structure to keep everything organised:
     ├── assets
     │   ├── image.jpg
     │   ├── file.pdf
     │   └── meme.gif
     ├── pages
     │   ├──
     │   ├──
     │   ├──
     │   └──
     ├── blog
     │   ├──
     │   ├──
     │   └──
     ├── style.css
     ├── list_template.html
     ├── post_template.html
     └── template.html
    Your template.html file should be a complete HTML file containing, in a single location, the string {{content}}, which will be replaced with your page content during generation, and optionally the string {{style}}, which can be replaced with the contents of a CSS file. If you're using the optional blog generator function:
    • Your post_template.html file should be an HTML file containing the strings {{title}}, {{date}}, and {{content}}, which will be replaced, respectively, with the title and date fields from the YAML front matter of each post, and the Markdown content of that post. This rendered file will in turn be included in the top-level template.html file, so you only need to write your top-level HTML once.
    • Your list_template.html file should be an HTML file containing the strings {{link}} and {{date}}. For each post in your list of posts, these tags will be replaced, respectively, with an <a> to the post and its front matter date field.
    • You should also include the string {{post_list}} in one of your Markdown pages, for instance - Orogene will dump the generated HTML list of posts into this field.
  4. Run Orogene. For the directory structure above, something like the following will do the trick:
    orogene --minify --directory-per-page --verbose --input-dir ./src/pages --output-dir ./build --template-file ./src/template.html --style-file ./src/style.css --assets-dir ./src/assets --blog-dir ./src/blog --post-template-file ./src/post_template.html --list-template-file ./src/list_template.html
    You can of course also use short versions of all these flags:
    orogene -mdv -i ./src/pages -o ./build -t ./src/template.html -s ./src/style.css -a ./src/assets -b ./src/blog -p ./src/post_template.html -l ./src/list_template.html
  5. This will create the following website in a directory called build:
    ├── assets
    │   ├── image.jpg
    │   ├── file.pdf
    │   └── meme.gif
    ├── blog
    │   ├── index.html
    │   ├── a-blog-post
    │   │   └── index.html
    │   ├── another-blog-post
    │   │   └── index.html
    │   └── a-third-blog-post
    │       └── index.html
    ├── index.html
    ├── page1
    │   └── index.html
    ├── page2
    │   └── index.html
    └── page2
        └── index.html

The simplest Orogene command would be something like this:

orogene -i ./src/pages -o ./build -t ./src/template.html

This will create one unstyled HTML file for each Markdown file provided to it - but you can, of course, simply include CSS directly in your template file.


A very simple static site generator written in Rust







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