A superfast static and unopinionated site generator written in JavaScript
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README.md

Fil

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Fil is a static content engine that can be used to host no-so-dynamic web sites such as blogs, technical documents, internal company tech wikies and content management systems.

Demo and Samples

  1. This blog can be used as a clone-to-start for your own blog. [Repo | Demo]
  2. This is my real blog that uses Fil under the hood and hosted via Github Pages. [Click to Go]

Features of Fil

  1. Super fast!
  2. No assumptions made. We think everyone's content organization is different. So we only provide basics.

What do you mean with no assumptions, only basics?

Fil provides a way to define 'content type's that represents any kind of data from any kind of source with any kind of validity rule in any kind of hierarchy of your decision.

Fil also provides a way to define outputs. Each output is accessed by a url of your choice.

Fil manages them and their life cycle. Therefore you can instantly see a preview of your new content while editing it, and still be able to generate whole web page in one go to deploy it as a static website to your production.

Get started with a new fil project

Please check that your system conforms requirements.

Now you have two choices. You can start by cloning an starter template such as fil-blog. This ensures that basics are set up and you can start modifying it for your needs. We recommend to go this way, until a better way is introduced.

If you want to start over, read API docs and use it as you wish. :-)

You can also install fil is a global package via npm i -g fil and use it that way. See all parameters here.

Requirements

  1. Node.js 8.2.x+
  2. npm 5.x

Architecture & Overview

A fil website has two parts:

  1. The compiler: It is the fil package you installed via npm. Normally, you use it as is, if you are not developing a feature to library itself. Compiler is responsible for:

    a. Read project config.

    b. Managing content lifecycle. Accounting.

    c. Providing a http server dynamic mode, refreshing pages on content change.

    d. Generating static website for production.

    e. Caching of contents for speedy recompilations.

  2. The project: This is your website project. It contains whole files that is related with your website. Usually this contains the following:

    a. index.js: Entrypoint to your project: A file that tells fil everything that is required to build the project.

    b. Content Types: Skeletons that defines how to find, watch and organize your contents. Metadata of contents.

    c. Contents: Actual contents that fits a Content Type description. Everything that is used in website including templates, frontend javascript, css, static image files, posts etc. are ALL contents. Contents doesn't generate output.

    d. Routes: Provide a list of URLs that they'll handle based on the contents available. Routes are the only thing that are responsible to generate output.

You can have unlimited amount of different content types, contents and routes. It is up to you.

API & Project Definition

You can find required information and interfaces to create your own Fil project in PROJECT.md.

If you want to use Fil programmatically, you can find API definition in API.md in the future.

Roadmap

The following features are planned considered. Not in particular order. And no promises.

  1. Graceful 404 and 500 pages in dynamic mode.
  2. Finding urls that points to non existent things in the output.
  3. Tests.

Contributing

No defined way of contributing yet. Just go wild. %-) If you are planning to add a new feature, open a PR and let's discuss it first.

Setting up development environment

To setup your development environment, first please check you have the things described in requirements section are met.

Clone latest master to your local box: git clone git@github.com:ubenzer/fil.git

Run npm i to install dependencies.

Use index-babel.js as entry point, which transpiles ES6 tp ES5, so you don't suffer while developing.

e.g.

# Let's say...
# Your development fil is in fil folder
# Your sample website that you test your changes is in my-fil-website folder

cd my-fil-website
../fil/app/bin/index-babel.js --dynamic --nocache --force

Fil Executable

fil Compiles your website into static pages to host them for production use.

fil --dynamic Starts a development server with change detection and auto reloading features to enable users to add/change content and instantly see the results. Do not use dynamic mode to host production websites.

Static and dynamic rendering generates the same output. Static rendering is optimized for speed and production use. Dynamic rendering is optimized for early feedback and development use.

fil --force Normally you can't start more than one fil instances for the same fil project. You can use the force to skip this limitation. Be warned though, cache might go crazy!

fil --nocache Normally fil projects are cached for speedy incremental builds. By using this option you can skip cache for one time.

Alternatives

Fil is a project work in progress and no commitments made at this point. If you need a more mature project, you can check Jekyll (ruby), Hexo (js) or Hugo(go).

Why you should prefer Fil?

  1. You want to control every single line generated for your website.
  2. You have a unique content organisation and none of the out of the box solutions that other static site generators offer doesn't fit you nicely and you need to tinker them by plugins etc. hoping that it work.
  3. You want to use your companies proprietary template engine or data store.
  4. You want to try something new.

Why you should not prefer Fil?

  1. Fil is not mature and there is no community contribution (yet). Therefore you should accept there there will be situations that you should 'dive into the project' and figure out/fix yourself.
  2. Fil doesn't have much samples and starter projects.
  3. You don't need much of a customization and your content structure fits nicely to one of other static site generators that provides out of the box solutions.