Last updated on 2020-07-09

nimble

version install test doc build

Jeknil is a dead-simple static blog post generator designed to be as easy as possible to use. No dependencies, no unnecessary deployment process, just a single executable that turns Markdown into HTML.

If you're viewing this at knaque.dev/jeknil, then you're looking at Jeknil own README turned into nice HTML, with a bit of manual editing since it's a bit hard to talk about Jeknil's variables when they're being replaced, as will be explained shortly. GitHub Repository

Installation

Make sure you have both the Nim compiler and the Nimble package manager installed via nim -v and nimble -v respectively. If you don't, both can be installed simultaneously here. Once both are installed, just do nimble install jeknil, and wait a moment for it to compile. Once it's done, jeknil will be available on your command line.

Building from source

Follow the same instructions as above to ensure you have both the Nim compiler and Nimble package manager. Once you do, clone this repository, then navigate to the clone's folder. nimble install will automatically download required libraries, build Jeknil, and install it to your system. Alternatively, you can also compile Jeknil with nim c -d:release ./src/jeknil.nim, but this method requires both manually installing dependencies and manually adding the executable to the PATH, so it's not recommended.

Usage

jeknil [--options] [file(s)]

Run jeknil without any arguments to display help information, including an list of each flag and its function.

Setup guide

template.html

Whenever Jeknil is run, it checks for a file called template.html in the working directory. This file describes the format that should be used for posts. This is primarily intended for specifying custom <head> data, but can include any valid HTML.

If you don't want to store your template in your working directory, the default behavior can be overwritten with the -t:<dir> flag. (i.e. jeknil -t:./some_dir)

The key part of template.html is variables. Variabes are a word surrounded by curly brackets, and are used to tell Jeknil where to place different data. The currently available variables are:

*Headers will be explained shortly.

Here is an example of a typical template, including a favicon set, external fonts, and a code block formatter.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta name="description" content="Everything you need to know to get started with Jeknil.">
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="16x16" href="../favicons/16.png">
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="32x32" href="../favicons/32.png">
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="180x180" href="../favicons/180.png">
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="192x192" href="../favicons/192.png">
    <link rel="icon" type="image/png" sizes="512x512" href="../favicons/512.png">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://indestructibletype.com/fonts/Jost.css" type="text/css" charset="utf-8" />
    <link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css2?family=Fira+Code:wght@300;400;500;600;700&display=swap" rel="stylesheet"> 
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="./assets/prism.css">
    <script src="./assets/prism.js"></script>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="./assets/style.css">
    <title>knaque's blog - Jeknil's README</title>
</head>
<body>
<span class="date"><i>last updated on 2020-07-09</i></span> - <a href="../index.html">homepage</a>
{content}
</body>
</html>

Once you've made a template, you can test it with jeknil -e. This will generate the file template-example_<date>.html with some example content, allowing you to quickly ensure everything is displaying as it should.

Writing posts

The Header

Now it's time to write a post. The only Jeknil-unique part of this process is the Header, which is very similar to Jekyll's Front Matter. The Header starts with ~! and ends with !~, or alternatively with standard HTML comments. (Jeknil uses whichever it finds first. This is because using these symbols more than once causes a parsing error.) At the moment, the Header is used to define the {title} and {description} variables, therefore a standard Header would be:

~!
title: "An example title"
description: "An example description."
!~

You must put each in quotes in order for it to be parsed properly. A Header can be anywhere in the document, but generally it's best to put it at the beginning.

Everything else is standard Markdown, and most things should be supported. You can even include HTML inside your markdown, allowing you to use things such as Classes and IDs to improve formatting. See this README's top banner for an example:

An HTML `<img>` with a class!
<img src="https://knaque.dev/ext/jeknil/jeknil_banner.png" alt="Jeknil Banner" title="Jeknil Banner" class="banner"/>

Then some Markdown images...
[![nimble](https://raw.githubusercontent.com/knaque/nimble-tag-2/master/nimble-tag-2.png)](https://github.com/knaque/nimble-tag-2)

And finally, plain Markdown text...

Even the Template variables from before (except for {content}) can be used in your Markdown.

Code Syntax Highlighting

If you put the language just after the opening of a large code block (i.e.```nim), a class for that language will automatically be added (language-nim in this case), meaning nothing extra is required to use a code formatter; just include a one in your template.html and specify the language in your Markdown.

Generating the result

Once you're done writing your post, simply run jeknil some-post.md and Jeknil will output the generated file in your current working directory, with the format <header title>_YYYY-MM-DD.html for the file name.

If you don't want save your generated posts in your working directory, the default behavior can be overwritten with the -o:<dir> flag. (i.e. jeknil -o:./some_dir)

Jeknil can also generate multiple posts at once, simply by listing every post separated by a space, i.e. (jeknil post1.md post2.md etc.md)


If this documentation could be improved in any way, don't hesitate to raise a GitHub issue describing your thoughts.