network markdown files into html with plaintext files
plain is a static-site generator operating on plaintext files containing a small set of commands and markdown input.
- Server crashed leading to a lost web folder which contained manual-ish copied html files / pandoc’d wiki articles; many gone, post-crash
- Wanted something to republish markdown articles from my wiki to static html files, and update an article index
- Grew tired of my old website, mostly due to the markup—but honestly also the design
plain revolves around converting individual markdown files into a network of html pages, focusing on frictionless use.
Aside from markdown manipulation, plain enables you to copy entire directories into your webroot while also connecting the copied directory to your other pages. You can author conceptual articles in markdown, while being free to mix in the occasional bespoke page, when the mood/humor/fever strikes.
Additional capabilities of plain include generating rss feeds for discrete website categories, highlighting articles in the header nav, creating link-only article dumps, automatically generate opengraph images for no-effort social media link previews.
See the code, or grab a build.
plain --generate-previews --url https://cblgh.org; cp -r web/* /path/to/my/webroot
Use the help flag to see all options:
plain -h -css string css stylesheet to copy into webdir (default "./style.css") -generate-previews generate experimental open-graph image previews -out string output path containing the assembled html (default "./web") -url string the canonical url of the hosted site; used primarily to generate rss feeds -v toggle messages when running
- Generate rss for any number of listicles
- Convert markdown into html
- Copy directories into the webroot
- Bundles all files needed into a single executable
- Mod it: customize the command names by editing the
- Separate your files from your publishing; plain eschews front matter
- The index file (think of it like a sitemap of sorts, or as a root listicle)
- Listicles (lists of articles, defined by commands and operands)
- Commands: symbols + operand (single, not plural)
- Directory copying
- Markdown first
For an example of how to construct a plain website, see the
/example folder—or cblgh.org, for the deployed equivalent.
tt TITLE title bb BRIEF a one-line brief markdown description md PATH_MD path to markdown file containing a standalone article / page ln LINK link to resource representing the described item ww PATH_WWWROOT set the final destination path in plain's webroot cf PATH_SSG path to a listicle file containing ssg input (e.g. articles) cp COPY_DIR copy an entire directory to the web root, preserving the folder name nn NAVIGATION_TITLE name navigation item & add to the main nav mv REDIRECT redirect the given url (by dumping a redirect page) to the current item cc CREATE_RSS create rss feed for listicle // SKIP comment, skip parsing this line
Make plain your own by changing the command names (e.g. renaming
rss) by editing the
symbols file. The only
restriction is that the new command name may contain no spaces.
Currently some commands are only suitable for the index file, and some only for listicles.
listicle only none! :) index only cf PATH_SSG path to a listicle file containing ssg input (e.g. articles) cc CREATE_RSS create rss feed for listicle nn NAVIGATION_TITLE name navigation item & add to the main nav both listicle & index tt TITLE title bb BRIEF a one-line brief markdown description md PATH_MD path to markdown file containing a standalone article / page ln LINK link to resource representing the described item ww PATH_WWWROOT set the final destination path in plain's webroot // SKIP comment, skip parsing this line cp COPY_DIR copy an entire directory to the web root, preserving the folder name mv REDIRECT redirect the given url (by dumping a redirect page) to the current item