Static site generators.

Justin Obara obara.justin at gmail.com
Mon Jan 27 21:11:41 EST 2014


About a week ago a
discussion<http://fluid.2324889.n4.nabble.com/Proposal-to-turn-floeproject-org-into-a-static-site-td8873.html>regarding
static site generators was started in regards to the work on the
floeproject.org site. In the end we went with the simple approach of just
building the sites by hand, but have allocated time at the Feb 19th
community meeting to discuss it further.

I don't think we'll have enough time in a single community meeting to sort
through all of the static site generators, get an understanding of their
pros/cons, and make an informed decision. With that in mind I'd like to go
through what the requirements should be and a proposal for which ones to
test in preparation for the Feb 19th community meeting.

Requirements:

1) node.js based.
We are doing a lot of infrastructure work in node these days and it should
provided a simpler route forward if/when we start working on an authoring
tool. Also it will minimize the systems we need to maintain.

2) Good templating engine. Weld <https://github.com/tmpvar/weld> seems to
be the best choice of templating engines as it uses standard markup for
templates.

3) Open Source with a amenable license. For extending, contributing, and
etc.

4) JSON-driven architecture


Systems to test:

There are at least 219 <http://staticsitegenerators.net> static site
generators. We obviously don't have the time and resources to test all of
them, and of course a lot won't meet the above requirements. I suggest we
narrow this down to 2 primary options with a third as a first candidate
replacement in case we run into any dire issues.

Primary:
DocPad <http://docpad.org>
Wintersmith <http://wintersmith.io/>

Fall Back:
Punch <http://laktek.github.io/punch/>

One note about all of the suggested static site generators above is that
none of them natively support Weld templates; however they all support
plugins for the templating engine. In each case we'll need to write our own
plugin, but it doesn't appear that this should be too difficult. The only
static site generator seen to use Weld natively is
Blacksmith<https://github.com/flatiron/blacksmith>,
although development on it hasn't been as consistent or recent as for the
suggested ones.

Thanks
Justin
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