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README.md

pancake

Pandoc + Racket = pancake

An awful static website generator with an awful logo and an awful acronym.

A horribly-drawn pancake

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

This is a hobby project I built for myself as a tool to make blogging more enjoyable.

I take no responsibility for anything that pancake deletes.

Backup anything you don’t want deleted.

Conventions used in this document

  • Note: Notes signify additional information
  • Tip: Tips signify an alternate procedure for completing a step
  • Warning: Warnings signify that damage may occur
  • Example: Examples provide a visual reference of how a procedure would be carried out in the real world
  • Inline code: Inline code signifies package names, filenames, or commands
  • Code block: Code blocks signify file contents

Requirements

  • Racket
  • Pandoc

Quick start

This section is for users who are familiar with git, a Unix-like command line environment, or scripting.

  1. Make sure Racket and Pandoc are installed
  2. git clone https://git.m455.casa/m455/pancake.git
  3. cd pancake
  4. sudo make install-global
  5. pancake

Note: To uninstall, run sudo make uninstall-global

  • pancake help - Displays this help message
  • pancake initialize - Generates the directories and files in your current directory, so pancake can operate
  • pancake build - Builds your website in the output/ directory
  • pancake clean - Deletes the contents of the output/ directory, except for any .git directories found.
  • pancake preview - Starts a local HTTP server in your output/ directory to view your website

Downloading pancake

pancake’s source code exists in a public git repository. This makes accessing the code convenient, because you don’t need to sign in or register for an account to download it.

Downloading pancake using git

You can use tools such as git to download pancake’s source code. You will need the source code to install pancake.

To download pancake using git

  1. Run git clone https://git.m455.casa/m455/pancake.git

Note: This will create a pancake directory in your current directory.

Installing pancake

You can either install pancake globally or locally on your system. A global installation allows all users on a machine to use pancake, while a local installation only allows one user to use pancake.

See the options below for installing pancake:

Installing pancake globally

This option will install pancake into /usr/local/bin/.

This section assumes you have downloaded pancake.

To install pancake globally

  1. Run cd pancake
  2. Run sudo make install-global

Installing pancake locally

This option will install pancake into ~/.local/bin/.

This section assumes you have downloaded pancake.

To install pancake locally

  1. Run cd pancake
  2. Run sudo make install-local

Installing pancake to a custom directory

If you wish to have pancake exist elsewhere on your system, you can also build a single-file executable. Building a single-file executable allows you to place the executable in convenient places on your system, such as a directory on your $PATH.

This section assumes you have downloaded pancake.

To install pancake to a custom directory

Warning: You will have to manually uninstall custom installations

  1. Run cd pancake
  2. Run make install-custom location=~/path/to/custom/location

Example: In step 2., you could run make install-custom location=~/bin/

Uninstalling pancake

Depending on your installation method, you can uninstall a global or local installation of pancake.

See the options below for uninstalling pancake:

Uninstalling pancake globally

This option will remove the pancake executable file from /usr/local/bin/.

This section assumes you have downloaded pancake.

To uninstall pancake globally

  1. Run cd pancake
  2. Run sudo make uninstall-global

Uninstalling pancake locally

This option will remove the pancake executable file from ~/.local/bin/.

This section assumes you have downloaded pancake.

To uninstall pancake locally

  1. Run cd pancake
  2. Run sudo make uninstall-local

Using pancake

pancake can generate HTML files from a set of Markdown files in specific directories, repair missing directories or files, and preview your website before deploying it.

Displaying the help message

Pancake provides a small help message, for further inquiries, refer to this README.md.

To display the help message

  1. Run pancake help

Initializing pancake

Before using pancake, you need to ‘initialize’ pancake in a directory of your choice. ‘initialize’ just means that pancake will create the required directories and files it needs before running.

To initialize pancake

  1. Run pancake initialize

Note: This command will generate directories and files in your current directory.

Building your website

When pancake ‘builds’, it will:

  • Convert all Markdown files in the pages/ directory, and place them in output/
  • Convert all Markdown files in the posts/ directory, and place them in output/posts/
  • Copy all files in the pdfs/ to output/pdfs/
  • Copy all files in the images/ to output/images/
  • Copy all files in the css/ to output/css/
  • Copy all files in the misc/ to output/misc/

To build your website

  1. Run pancake build

Previewing your website

pancake can create a temporary HTTP server, so you can preview your website before it goes public.

To preview your website

  1. Run pancake preview

Cleaning your website

pancake can ‘clean’ your output/ directory. This means pancake will delete all contents of your output/ directory, except for any .git directories it finds.

To clean your website

  1. Run pancake clean

Understanding pancake’s directories

pancake initializes several directories at first. This section will discuss the significance of each of the following directories, and how to use them:

The css directory

This directory contains CSS files created by the user. CSS files in this directory will automatically be applied to all HTML files that are generated inside the output/ and output/posts directories.

Note: HTML files in the output/misc directory are not affected by CSS files in the css/ directory.

When you run pancake build, pancake copies the CSS files in pdfs/ to output/pdfs/. pandoc adds a link to each of these CSS files in headers of each HTML file inside of the output/ and output/posts directories.

The images directory

This directory contains image files added by the user. When referencing an image from images/ in a Markdown file, always prefix it with /images/.

Example: /images/selfie.png

When you run pancake build, pancake copies the image files in images/ to output/images/.

The misc directory

The misc/ directory is for storing any kind of file publicly. When referencing a file from misc/ in a Markdown file, always prefix it with /misc/.

Example: /misc/my-text-file.txt

This directory is for storing one-off files, such as an HTML file with its own styles, or a plain text file, or even a temporary file you want to share with a friend. I currently use the misc/ directory to store my PGP key, which is then reference on my contact.html page, from where people can download it.

When you run pancake build, pancake copies the files in the misc/ to output/misc/.

The pdfs directory

This directory contains PDF files added by the user. When referencing a PDF file from pdfs/ in a Markdown file, always prefix it with /pdfs/.

Example: /pdfs/white-paper.png

When you run pancake build, pancake copies the PDF files in pdfs/ to output/pdfs/.

The drafts directory

This directory contains files for later use. Pancake ignores any files inside of this directory.

The output directory

The output/ directory is where your website is generated. You shouldn’t edit anything in the output/ directory, because the directories or files will be replaced each time you run pancake build.

The pages directory

The pages/ directory contains Markdown files that will be accessible from the root directory of your website after being generated.

Example: yourwebsite.com/a-page-file.html

This directory is intended for pages that are accessible from the nav links inside of the layout/nav.md file, but you can use it however you want.

When you run pancake build, the Markdown files in pages/ will be converted to HTML files and copied to output/.

The posts directory

The posts/ directory contains Markdown files that will be accessible from the posts/ directory inside of the root directory of your website after being generated.

Example: yourwebsite.com/posts/2020-blog-post.html

When you run pancake build, the Markdown files in posts/ will be converted to HTML files and copied to output/posts/.

The layout directory

This directory contains the building blocks of each web page. The layout/head.md file should be edited to add the title, an optional subtitle, and optional keywords related to the topics existing on your website.

The head.md file

The value after title: is mandatory, and should remain in single quotes if you plan on having a colon in your title. If you plan on having single quotes in your title, you have to escape them with a \.

Example: title: 'Sherry\'s blog'

The value after subtitle: is optional, and follows the same rules as the title: value, but you can leave it blank if you don’t want a subtitle: value, or you can delete the subtitle: line.

Example: subtitle: 'They/them'

Note: I originally added the subtitle: value, so I could include my pronouns on my homepage, but you can change it to other values.

The value after keywords: is optional, and should remain in brackets, if it is not blank. Inside of the brackets, you should include keywords related to topics mentioned on your website. These keywords should be separated by commas.

Example: keywords: [programming, documentation, personal homepages]

The nav.md file

The default contents of the nav.md file imply that it is used for a navigation bar, but this could be anything you want, or it could be blank if you don’t want anything.

The default ::: {#main} sections off the rest of the website that is stitched below it, during a pancake build, causing the main content to exist inside of a #main id for styling purposes.

The default contents of the footer.md file contain a message saying your website was created by pancake, but this is not mandatory. You can change the footer to anything you want.