Title : New cl-yag version
Author: Solène
Date : 16 December 2017
Tags : unix cl-yag
#+OPTIONS: toc:nil num:nil
** Introduction
cl-yag is a static website generator. It's a software used to publish
a website and/or a gopher hole from a list of articles. As the
developer of cl-yag I'm happy to announce that a new version has been
** New features
The new version, with its number 0.6, bring lot of new features :
- supporting **different** markup language **per article**
- date format configurable
- gopher output format configurable
- ship with the default theme "clyma", minimalist but responsive (the
one used on this website)
- easier to use
- full user documentation
The code is available at git://bitreich.org/cl-yag, the program
requires sbcl or ecl to work.
*** Per article markup language
The best feature I'm proud of is allowing to use a different language
per article. While on my blog I choosed to use markdown, it's
sometimes not adapted for more elaborated articles like the one about
LISP containing code which was written in org-mode then converted to
markdown manually to fit to cl-yag. Now, the user can declare a named
"converter" which is a command line with pattern replacement, to
produce the html file. We can imagine a lot of things with this, even
producing a gallery with find + awk command. Now, I can use markdown
by default and specify if I want to use org-mode or something else.
This is the way to declare a converter, taking org-mode as example,
which is not very simple, because of emacs not being script friendly :
#+BEGIN_SRC lisp
(converter :name :org-mode :extension ".org"
And an easy way to produce a gallery with awk from a =.txt= file
containing a list of images path.
#+BEGIN_SRC lisp
(converter :name :gallery :extension ".txt"
:command (concatenate 'string
"awk 'BEGIN { print \"
\"} "
"{ print \"\" } "
" END { print \"
\"} data/%IN | tee %OUT"))
The concatenate function is only used to improve the presentation, to
split the command in multiples lines and make it easier to read. It's
possible to write all the command in one line.
The patterns **=%IN=** and **=%OUT=** are replaced by the input file
name and the output file name when the command is executed.
For an easier example, the default markdown converter looks like this,
calling multimarkdown command :
#+BEGIN_SRC lisp
(converter :name :markdown :extension ".md"
:command "multimarkdown -t html -o %OUT data/%IN")
It's really easy (I hope !) to add new converters you need with this
*** Date format configurable
One problem I had with cl-yag is that it's plain vanilla Common LISP
without libraries, so it's easier to fetch and use but it lacks some
elaborated libraries like one to parse date and format a date. Before
this release, I was writing in plain text "14 December 2017" in the
date field of a blog post. It was easy to use, but not really usable
in the RSS feed in the **=pubDate=** attribute, and if I wanted to
change the display of the date for some reason, I would have to
rewrite everything.
Now, the date is simply in the format "YYYYMMDD" like "20171231" for
the 31rd December 2017. And in the configuration variable, there is a
**=:date-format=** keyword to define the date display. This variable
is a string allowing pattern replacement of the following variables :
- %DayNumber :: day of the month in number, from 1 to 31
- %DayName :: day of the week, from Monday to Sunday, names are
written in english in the source code and can be
- %MonthNumber :: month in number, from 1 to 12
- %MonthName :: month name, from January to December, names are
written in english in the source code and can be
- %Year :: year
Currently, as the time of writing, I use the value "**=%DayNumber
%MonthName %Year=**"
A **=:gopher-format=** keyword exist in the configuration file to
configure the date format in the gopher export. It can be different
from the html one.
*** More Gopher configuration
There are cases where the gopher server use an unusual syntax compared
to most of the servers. I wanted to make it configurable, so the user
could easily use cl-yag without having to mess with the code. I
provide the default for **geomyidae** and in comments another syntax
is available. There is also a configurable value to indicates where to
store the gopher page menu, it's not always **gophermap**, it could be
**index.gph** or whatever you need.
*** Easier to use
A comparison of code will make it easier to understand. There was a
little change the way blog posts are declared :
#+BEGIN_SRC lisp
(defparameter *articles*
(list :id "third-article" :title "My third article" :tag "me" :date "20171205")
(list :id "second-article" :title "Another article" :tag "me" :date "20171204")
(list :id "first-article" :title "My first article" :tag "me" :date "20171201")
#+BEGIN_SRC lisp
(post :id "third-article" :title "My third article" :tag "me" :date "20171205")
(post :id "second-article" :title "Another article" :tag "me" :date "20171204")
(post :id "first-article" :title "My first article" :tag "me" :date "20171201")
Each post are independtly declared and I plan to add a "page" function
to create static pages, but this is going to be for the next version !
** Future work
I am very happy to hack on cl-yag, I want to continue improving it but
I should really think about each feature I want to add. I want to keep
it really simple even if it limits the features.
I want to allow the creation of static pages like "About me", "Legal"
or "websites I liked" that integrates well in the template. The user
may not want all the static pages links to go at the same place in the
template, or use the same template. I'm thinking about this.
Also, I think the gopher generation could be improved, but I still
have no idea how.
Others themes may come in the default configuration, allowing the user
to have a choice between themes. But as for now, I don't plan to bring
a theme using javascript.