a static site generator written in Go
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Hastie - Static Site Generator in Go

Created by Marcus Kazmierczak and contributions by Fredrik Steen

Started: Feb 13, 2012

License: MIT, see LICENSE


Hastie is a simple static site generator in Go. I use it as a replacement of jekyll on mkaz.com. I wanted a project to play with and learn Go and jekyll was starting to slow and ruby dependencies give me a headache. I think I switched systems and everything broke and I couldn't publish. The Go binary is completely portable and all includes all dependencies.

If you are looking for a tool to tweak and play with the Go language, then this might be fun. Most customizations will probably require code changes. The reason I created the tool was to learn Go, I'm open sourcing to hopefully help others play with Go.

If you just want simple blogging and no headaches, setup a hosted blog on WordPress.com easiest platform and you'll be up in minutes.

Note: The name Hastie is from a character in the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Install Notes

Install Go: http://golang.org/doc/install.html#fetch

Get Hastie: go get github.com/mkaz/hastie

If you have your Go environment setup, go get will automatically create the binary in $GOPATH/bin.

My setup is

mkdir -p $HOME/gocode/src
mkdir -p $HOME/gocode/bin

export GOPATH="$HOME/gocode"
export PATH="$GOPATH/bin:$PATH"


Uses blackfriday for markdown conversion. go get github.com/russross/blackfriday


usage: hastie [flags]
  -c="hastie.json": Config file
  -h=false: show this help
  -http="": HTTP service address (e.g., ':8080')
  -m=false: do not use markdown conversion
  -t=false: display timing
  -v=false: verbose output

Configuration file format (default ./hastie.json)

  "SourceDir" : "posts",
  "LayoutDir" : "layouts",
  "PublishDir": "public",
  "UseMarkdown": true

UseMarkdown is optional parameter, by default it will convert documents to markdown. If you don't want documents to be converted globally, you can specify it false on the command-line or here in the config. If you want to disable markdown on a per document basis, you can put "markdown: no" in the front matter of the document.

Hastie walks through a templates directory and generates HTML files to a publish directory. It uses Go's template language for templates and markdown for content.

Here is sample site layout: (see test directory)


This will generate:


A few current limitations:

  • all files must be have .md or .html extension

The usage of hastie is just as a template engine, it does not copy over any images, does not have a built-in web server or any of the other features that jekyll has.

I keep the public directory full with all of the assets for the site such as images, stylesheets, etc and hastie copies in the html files. So if you delete a template it won't be removed from public

Data available to templates:

.Title        -- Page Title
.Date         -- Page Date format using .Date.Format "Jan 2, 2006"
.Content      -- Converted HTML Content
.Category     -- Category (directory)
.OutFile      -- file path
.Recent       -- list most recent files, latest first
.Url          -- Url for this page
.PrevUrl      -- Previous Page Url
.PrevTitle    -- Previous Page Title
.NextUrl      -- Next Page Url
.NextTitle    -- Next Page Title
.PrevCatUrl   -- Previous Page Url by Category
.PrevCatTitle -- Previous Page Title by Category
.NextCatUrl   -- Next Page Url by Category
.NextCatTitle -- Next Page Title by Category
.Params       -- Map of User Parameters, set in page head
.Params.BaseUrl -- BaseUrl as defined in hastie.json

.Categories.CATEGORY -- list of most recent files for CATEGORY

Functions Available:

.Recent.Limit n           -- will limit recent list to n items
.Categories.Get CATEGORY  -- will fetch category list CATEGORY, useful for dynamic categories


Show 3 most recent titles:
    {{ range .Recent.Limit 3 }}
      {{ .Title }}
    {{ end }}

Show 3 most recent from math category:
    {{ range .CategoryList.math }}
      {{ .Title }}
    {{ end }}

Using Filters (Example: Less CSS, CoffeeScript)

Hastie allows for the use of any command-line processing of files, provided the process takes the filename as input and spits out the results. It does so using processFilters configuration. You set a file extension mapped to the utility to process and the final extension.

Add follow configuration to hastie.json

  "processFilters": {
    "less": ["/usr/local/bin/lessc", "css"]

So the above example any files with the extension .less will be converted to .css using lessc binary and copied to the public directory at the same spot in the directory tree as the original less file.


  • Create syntax highlighting blocks

  • Add ability to support rss.xml

  • Read .html files and apply template, no markdown

  • Add Less and Filter processing of static files


  • Add nicer error message/detection when no config found
  • Add nicer error detection when error with template
  • Should template variables work in source files ??


ver 0.5.2 - Aug 2014

  • Add ability to parse all .html files in source directory

  • Add global flag to config file to skip markdown

ver 0.5.1 - Feb 2014

  • Rename ThemeDir back to LayoutDir

    • wrong direction, confusing name
  • Alter markdown rendering so allows <script> tags

    • hastie is used on personal site, so does not need to be so strict

ver 0.5.0 - June 2013

  • Change LayoutDir to ThemeDir parameter

  • Add copying of {ThemeDir}/static directory to {PublishDir}/static This allows you to create a theme with static assets, such as css

  • Use category if specified in file

ver 0.?.? - June 2013

  • Reverted branch changes which monitor and served the site This was adding too much complexity and not core to the tool

  • If you want a web server to test, do the following from public directory $ python -m SimpleHTTPServer $ open http://localhost:8000/

ver 0.4.4 - March 23, 2012

  • Add BaseURL config parameter
  • Update Test Site

ver 0.4.3 - March 22, 2012

  • Speed optimizations improved rendering of mkaz.com time by 75% from 2sec down to 500ms
  • Pass more objects by reference to reduce copying of large arrays
  • Moved template parsing out of loop of pages, only needed to do once
  • Added Timing flag to see what areas take most time ( -t )

ver 0.4.2 - March 20, 2012

  • Run file through "go fmt" for proper formating
  • Convert fmt.Sprintf to simple "+" for string concat

ver 0.4.1 - March 15, 2012

  • Categories under subdirected changed to _ instead of / in index
  • Cleaned up code comments
  • Updated documentation to include all new features
  • Add Extension to Template Parameter to Support RSS

ver 0.4.0 - March 14, 2012

  • Add Process Filters allows processing using any third party such as Less CSS or Coffee Script

ver 0.3.5 - March 12, 2012

  • Add Prev-Next Links by Category
  • Add Parameters to Header, allows user created parameters, stored in .Params
  • Removed skip if empty content, can build page based on parameters

ver 0.3.4 - March 10, 2012

  • Add Recent List by Category
  • Switched Config from string map to struct
  • Created new config element called CategoryMash which allows the combination of multiple categories into a single category. This allows for displaying a list of combined categories

ver 0.3.3 - March 9, 2012

  • Add Limit function to PagesSlice, available in templates
  • Removed Pages data, since duplicated

ver 0.3.2 - March 8, 2012

  • Add Prev-Next Links to Page Object

ver 0.3.1 - March 7, 2012

  • Change category to include full directory path
  • Trimmed begin-end quotes from passed in parameters no need to quote parameters in template files

ver 0.3.0 - March 2, 2012

  • Merged Fredrik Steen changes in github.com/stone/hastie
  • Switched config to json format
    • removed dependency on old config
  • Moved to Go1 support

ver 0.2 (unreleased)

  • In config, renamed template_dir to source This more accurately describes the directory, what I was thinking was templates to be expanded are really the source files for the site.

  • Added Url parameter to templates