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The Gemtexter blog engine and static site generator

This is the source code of my personal internet site and blog engine. All content is written in Gemini Gemtext format, but the script gemtexter generates multiple other static output formats from it. You can reach the site(s)...

Have a look at the content-* branches of the Git project for static content examples.

Getting started


These are the requirements of the gemtexter static site generator script:

  • GNU Bash 5.x or higher
  • ShellCheck installed
  • GNU Sed
  • GNU Date
  • Git

The script is tested on a recent Fedora Linux. For *BSD or macOS, you would need to install GNU Sed, GNU Date, and a newer version of Bash.


So you want such a pretty internet site too?

To get started, clone this repo and run ./gemtexter. You will be prompted with further instructions.

You will notice soon that all site content is located in ../ (you can configure the $BASE_CONTENT_DIR in gemtexter.conf). There is one sub-directory per output format, e.g.:


Alternative config file path

If you don't want to mess with gemtexter.conf, you can use an alternative config file path in ~/.config/gemtexter.conf, which takes precedence if it exists. Another way is to set the CONFIG_FILE_PATH environment variable, e.g.:

export CONFIG_FILE_PATH=~/.config/my-site.geek.conf
./gemtexter --generate

What is what

Whereas you only want to edit the content in the gemtext folder directly. The gemtexter then will take the Gemtext and update all other formats accordingly. Summary of what is what:

  • gemtext: The Gemini Gemtext markup files of the internet site.
  • html: The XHTML version of it.
  • md: The Markdown version of it.
  • meta: Some metadata of all Gemtext blog posts. It's used by gemtexter internally for Atom feed generation.

Special HTML configuration

You will find the ./header.html.part and ./footer.html.part files, they are minimal template files for the HTML generation.

Special Markdown configuration

gemtexter will never touch the ../$BASE_CONTENT_DIR/md/_config.yml file (if it exists). That's a particular configuration file for GitHub Pages. gemtexter also will never modify the file ../$BASE_CONTENT_DIR/md/CNAME, as this is also a file required by GitHub pages for using custom domains.

Store all formats in Git

I personally have for each directory in ../ a separate Git repository configured. So whenever something has changed, it will be updated/added/removed to version control. The following will run the generator and commit everything to Git:

USE_GIT=yes ./gemtexter --generate

And the following will additionally perform a git pull and git push afterwards;

USE_GIT=yes GIT_PUSH=yes ./gemtexter --generate

You could add the USE_GIT and GIT_PUSH options to the gemtexter.conf config file too.

Publishing a blog post

All that needs to be done is to create a new file in ./gemtext/gemfeed/YYYY-MM-DD-article-title-dash-separated.gmi, whereas YYYY-MM-DD defines the publishing date of the blog post.

A subsequent ./gemtexter --generate will then detect the new post and link it from $BASE_CONTENT_DIR/gemtext/gemfeed/index.gmi, link it from the main index $BASE_CONTENT_DIR/gemtext/index.gmi, and also add it to the Atom feed at $BASE_CONTENT_DIR/gemtext/gemfeed/atom.xml. The first level 1 Gemtext title (e.g. # Title) will be the displayed link name. YYYY-MM-DD will be the publishing date. Various other settings, such as Author, come from the gemtexter.conf configuration file.

Once all of that is done, the gemtexter script will convert the new post (plus all the indices and the Atom feed) to the other formats, too (e.g. HTML, Markdown).

You can also have a look at $BASE_CONTENT_DIR/meta/gemfeed. There is a metafile for each blog post stored. These metafiles are required for the generation of the Atom feed. You can edit these metafiles manually and run ./gemtexter --generate or ./gemtexter --feed again if you want to change some of the Atom feed content.

Ready to be published

After running ./gemtexter --generate, you will have all static files ready to be published. But before you do that, you could preview the content with firefox ../ or glow ../ (you get the idea).

Have also a look at the generated atom.xml files. They make sense (at least) for Gemtext and HTML.

It is up to you to set up a Gemini server for the Gemtext, a Webserver for the HTML or a GitHub page for the Markdown format (or both).

Future features

I might or might not implement those:

  • Automatic ToC generation.
  • Templating of .gmi files (e.g. insert %%TOC%% to Gemtext files as well). Could also template common .gmi page headers and footers.
  • Automatic sitemap generation.
  • More output formats. Gopher? Groff? Plain text? PDF via Pandoc? .sh with interactive menus?