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MGPages (Markdown-Git-Pages)

A post-receive githook which updates static html files on a webserver when Markdown text files are pushed to the remote repository on that same server.

Get the Code

The code is maintained on github at http://github.com/waylan/MGPages/tree. To clone the repo, do:

git clone git://github.com/waylan/MGPages.git

Installation and Setup

MGPages is only a script which is called by git when a remote push is received. Therefore, there is no need to run a setup script. However, as the script is written in Python, a recent version of Python (2.5 or 2.6) will need to be installed on your system.

You will also need the Python wrapper for git; GitPython. The easiest way to install GitPython is to use setuptools:

sudo easy_install gitpython

Now you will want to place a copy of the script in a place where your git repo can find it. As the script is specific to each repo (as it includes settings specific to its repo), I would suggest placing it in the hooks directory of the repo (i.e.: /path/to/myrepo.git/hooks/mgpages.py).

Note that in the example above the repo is "myrepo.git" rather than "myrepo/.git". It is assumed that the repo will be a remote repo with no working tree. Although it could contain a working tree, the script will not update that tree, so you will need to provide an additional script to update the working tree as well. That may be a convenient way to provide both the source text files and html files to your sites users, but is left as an exercise for the reader.

After copying the mgpages.py script, ensure that it is executable:

chmod +x mgpages.py

Due to the need to unset the GITDIR environment variable, the mgpages.py script needs to be called by a shell/bash script. If you do not have any post-receive hook in your repo yet, you can simply copy the "sample-post-receive" script to "hooks/post-receive", check that the paths are set correctly in the script, and make it executable. If you already have a post-receive script, you can either copy the contents of the sample script into your script, or have one call the other. See the comments in the sample for how to do that.

The final step in setting the script up is to open mgpages.py in your favorite text editor and adjust the global settings to point to your repo and server root.

You are now ready to use your repo.

Usage

Once the repo is set up, simply make a clone of that repo, edit/add/delete text files in Markdown format and commit to the clone as normal. Once you are ready, push those changes to the remote server as normal (git push <remote> <branch>) and the text files will automatically be run through Markdown and written to the server root as html files while maintaining the same directory structure as the text files in the repo.

Settings

For more fine grained control, you can also commit a "settings.conf" file to the root directory of the repo. That way, any changes to your settings will be tracked by version control as well.

The settings file should use the ini format. All currently supported settings should be under the "[DEFAULT]" (all caps) section. The supported settings are:

  • "template": The name of the template file. Defaults to "template.html".
  • "output_format": Markdown's output format. One of "html4" (default) or "xhtml".
  • "source_extension": File extension for source text files. Defaults to "txt".
  • "branch": Branch of the repo to use. Defaults to "master".

Templates

You will also need an html template that at least contains html header and body sections. Currently, only python formated strings are permitted, with the named variables "title" and "body" passed in. The simplest template would look something like this:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>%(title)s</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    %(body)s
  </body>
</html>

The template should be committed to the root directory of your repo in a file named "template.html", although the name can be overridden in the settings file.

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