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How Does This Work?

We use a Jekyll-based custom theme for markup and display, and pages are published to

Adding or Editing Content

These are community documents, so we rely on the pull request model. If you'd like to contribute content:

To Test in Jekyll:

  • Run the jekyll server bundle exec jekyll serve
  • View the documentation in a browser at http://localhost:4000

Basic Front Matter

The front matter on each page controls how the page is built and functions.

Example front matter for page Best Practices -> Coding Styles

title: "Coding Style with RuboCop"
permalink: best-practices-coding-styles.html
folder: samvera/best_practices/
sidebar: home_sidebar
keywords: ["Best Practices", "Coding Styles", "Rubocop"]
tags: [development_resources]
  id: 'hyrax_1.0-stable'
last_updated: March 30, 2017

Front Matter Options

  • title [String] (required) - The title displayed on the generated html page
  • permalink [text] (required) - The name of the generated html file that will be part of the url accessed by users
  • last_updated [text] (recommended) - Text version of updated date, to show in page footer.
  • keywords [Array] (recommended) - Used as titles in the generated browse_pages.html for browsing by keyword, and as keywords that get populated into the metadata for SEO
  • sidebar [text] (optional) - Default value is home_sidebar, and the only option at this point
  • version [hash] (optional) - Specifies the gem's name and version that this documentation page describes. See Versioning Information for details.
  • toc false (optional) - Prevents display of formatting-based table of contents on page. Default value of true displays the table of content.
  • tags [Array] (optional) - Automatically populate pages for each of the 4 major categories included on the main page. If you use a tag, you should also add a summary. Valid tags values:
    • getting_started
    • development_resources
    • production
    • community
  • summary [text] (optional) - Adds formatted summary text, prefaced by a vertical bar, at the top of a page. Also used as the excerpt text on the 4 category pages linked from the main page.
  • layout (optional) - values:
    • page (default value)
    • post - adds breadcrumbs to the top of the page linking to corresponding tags page (see valid tags front matter above)
    • deck - display as slideshow: see Touring the Design Patterns in Samvera
  • folder [text] (optional) - The location of this *.md file under the pages directory. Does not appear to have any functionality.

Notes on writing content

You can highlight content with the following...

<ul class='info'><li>This shows an info icon and provides the user additional information in a blue box.</li></ul>

info box (Example: code, webpage)

<ul class='warning'><li>This shows a warning icon and provides the user warning information in a red box.</li></ul>

warning box

<ul class='question'><li>This shows a question icon and provides the user with information in a yellow box indicating that there may be some uncertainty about a particular piece of information in the documentation.</li></ul>

question box

NOTE: You cannot use markdown in these boxes. For example, if you want a link, you will have to use an html anchor tag.

Browse pages

This site incudes a generated browse page. Each page's frontmatter keywords values are used to populate the browse by keyword page. The keywords should be written as titles, in upper and lower case, as they will be directly used as text on the page.

When changes are committed, the page needs to be regenerated and included with the committed changes. To build and save the revised browse_pages.html file:

  • Run command SAVE_GENERATED_FILES=1 bundle exec jekyll build

Be sure to include the generated file in your pull request.


The documentation on this site covers multiple gems and multiple versions of those gems. The recommended best practice is to specify the gem's name and version, including a link to the applicable branch in github. If there is documentation for multiple versions of the gem, then a selection list allows users to switch between versions.

Specifying gem name, version, and branch

Predefined version information

Common gems have version information encoded and can be referenced by id in front matter. The predefined version information is defined in _includes/version_info/

Example for Hyrax v1.0 stable:

  id: 'hyrax_1.0-stable'
Custom version information

If the predefined version information does not exist. You can specify custom values in the front matter.

Example custom version information:

  label: 'Hydra Role Management v0.2.2'
    label: 'master'
    link: ''
Adding predefined version information for a gem version

It is good practice to add predefined version information, as this allows reuse and consistent encoding of gem names and versions.

Adding predefined version information is a two step process.

  1. Add the version information to a new version file in directory _includes/version_info/ naming the file with the gem and verion number (e.g. version_hyrax_1.0-stable.html). Include in the new file assignments for version_label, branch_label, and branch_link.

Example assignments for Hyrax v1.0:

{% assign version_label = 'Hyrax stable v1.0' %}
{% assign branch_label = '1.0-stable' %}
{% assign branch_link = '' %}
  1. Add a new condition in _includes/versions.html that includes the predefined version information if its id is specified in front matter for a document. The condition in the case statement becomes the id that is used in front matter.

Example conditional include based on id:

{% case %}
{% when 'hyrax_1.0-stable' %}
  {% include version_info/version_hyrax_1.0-stable.html %}
{% endcase %}

Selector for switching versions

Identifying multiple versions is done by specifying each version in front matter including its label and link. If the version is the active version that the current page is describing, then also include selected: 'true'. The multi-version information is repeated on every version's page for the documentation topic.

Example front matter for multiple versions:

    - label: 'Hyrax 1.0'
      link:  'what-happens-deposit-1.0.html'
      selected: 'true'
    - label: 'Hyrax 2.0'
      link:  'what-happens-deposit-2.0.html'  

Our Theme

We use a Jekyll theme designed for documentation. We chose the Documentation Theme because of its excellent navigation and clear page layout, and for the ease of working in markdown.


Public website for version controlled Samvera documentation (mostly Hyrax)



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