Gemtexter 2.0.0 - Let's Gemtext again²

Published at 2023-03-25T17:50:32+02:00

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  mod. by Paul Buetow  `"""""""""`

I proudly announce that I've released Gemtexter version 2.0.0. What is Gemtexter? It's my minimalist static site generator for Gemini Gemtext, HTML and Markdown written in GNU Bash.

This is a new major release, so it contains a breaking change (see "Meta cache made obsolete").

Let's list what's new!

Minimal template engine

Gemtexter now supports templating, enabling dynamically generated content to .gmi files before converting anything to any output format like HTML and Markdown.

A template file name must have the suffix gmi.tpl. A template must be put into the same directory as the Gemtext .gmi file to be generated. Gemtexter will generate a Gemtext file index.gmi from a given template index.gmi.tpl. A <<< and >>> encloses a multiline template. All lines starting with << will be evaluated as a single line of Bash code and the output will be written into the resulting Gemtext file.

For example, the template index.gmi.tpl:

# Hello world

<< echo "> This site was generated at $(date --iso-8601=seconds) by \`Gemtexter\`"

Welcome to this capsule!

  for i in {1..10}; do
    echo Multiline template line $i

... results into the following index.gmi after running ./gemtexter --generate (or ./gemtexter --template, which instructs to do only template processing and nothing else):

# Hello world

> This site was generated at 2023-03-15T19:07:59+02:00 by `Gemtexter`

Welcome to this capsule!

Multiline template line 1
Multiline template line 2
Multiline template line 3
Multiline template line 4
Multiline template line 5
Multiline template line 6
Multiline template line 7
Multiline template line 8
Multiline template line 9
Multiline template line 10

Another thing you can do is insert an index with links to similar blog posts. E.g.:

See more entries about DTail and Golang:

<< template::inline::index dtail golang


... scans all other post entries with dtail and golang in the file name and generates a link list like this:

See more entries about DTail and Golang:

=> ./2022-10-30-installing-dtail-on-openbsd.gmi 2022-10-30 Installing DTail on OpenBSD
=> ./2022-04-22-programming-golang.gmi 2022-04-22 The Golang Programming language
=> ./2022-03-06-the-release-of-dtail-4.0.0.gmi 2022-03-06 The release of DTail 4.0.0
=> ./2021-04-22-dtail-the-distributed-log-tail-program.gmi 2021-04-22 DTail - The distributed log tail program (You are currently reading this)


Added hooks

You can configure PRE_GENERATE_HOOK and POST_PUBLISH_HOOK to point to scripts to be executed before running --generate, or after running --publish. E.g. you could populate some of the content by an external script before letting Gemtexter do its thing or you could automatically deploy the site after running --publish.

The sample config file gemtexter.conf includes this as an example now; these scripts will only be executed when they actually exist:

declare -xr PRE_GENERATE_HOOK=./
declare -xr POST_PUBLISH_HOOK=./

Use of safer Bash options

Gemtexter now does set -euf -o pipefile, which helps to eliminate bugs and to catch scripting errors sooner. Previous versions only set -e.

Meta cache made obsolete

Here is the breaking change to older versions of Gemtexter. The $BASE_CONTENT_DIR/meta directory was made obsolete. meta was used to store various information about all the blog post entries to make generating an Atom feed in Bash easier. Especially the publishing dates of each post were stored there. Instead, the publishing date is now encoded in the .gmi file. And if it is missing, Gemtexter will set it to the current date and time at first run.

An example blog post without any publishing date looks like this:

% cat gemfeed/2023-02-26-title-here.gmi
# Title here

The remaining content of the Gemtext file...

Gemtexter will add a line starting with > Published at ... now. Any subsequent Atom feed generation will then use that date.

% cat gemfeed/2023-02-26-title-here.gmi
# Title here

> Published at 2023-02-26T21:43:51+01:00

The remaining content of the Gemtext file...

XMLLint support

Optionally, when the xmllint binary is installed, Gemtexter will perform a simple XML lint check against the Atom feed generated. This is a double-check of whether the Atom feed is a valid XML.


Additionally, there were a couple of bug fixes, refactorings and overall improvements in the documentation made.

E-Mail your comments to :-)

Other related posts are:

2021-04-24 Welcome to the Geminispace
2021-06-05 Gemtexter - One Bash script to rule it all
2022-08-27 Gemtexter 1.1.0 - Let's Gemtext again
2023-03-25 Gemtexter 2.0.0 - Let's Gemtext again² (You are currently reading this)
2023-07-21 Gemtexter 2.1.0 - Let's Gemtext again³

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