I'ved tested many static web page generators, and I found a very horrifying conclusion: They are either too big and overwhelming, or they are very small, compact, and written mostly for generating static blogs.
I'ved started to invest a day with a friend static generator, that he wrote for his blog, and even opened 11 bug reports for it, however, the generator he created is also very blog specific solution, and I want to create static web site, not a blog. The difference is in the way routing works, and the whole stat of mind when using such thing. And if I wish to make his generator do what I'm looking for, it will require from me a lot of work.
So, I'ved started yet another static web site generator (more like a framework for it imho 🙂 ), after I'ved tried not to go there in any possible way.
At the first day I'ved started planning how the skeleton of the static content will be, and started looking for libraries that can convert markup languages (markdown, reStracturedText etc…) to html, and I've chosen something that is written in Haskell, with a lot of power named Pandoc. It even has a Ruby wrapper for it, that I'm using for the project. So I jumped to the water of reinventing the wheel and creating yet another generator.
In the beginning, of writing my code, I'ved encountered several problems that needed to be solved. For example: How do I execute my executable without installing it as a Gem ? In default behaviour, if it's not installed, then Ruby does not know how to locate the files. But at the end I found an interesting solution for it:
$BASE_PATH = File.expand_path(File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/..')
I found additional problems to be solved. For example I needed to make Bundler find the Gemfile, but the executable is not part of the Gemfile path. After a lot of research and grep in the source code of Bundler, I found the answer:
It uses an environment variable named BUNDLER_GEMFILE, and it is needed to be set to the Gemfile path like so:
require 'bundler' ENV["BUNDLE_GEMFILE"] = $BASE_PATH + '/Gemfile' Bundler.require(:default)
Another problem that I found was in the way of parsing the cli parameters.
Ruby has it's own default library for it, but it was not built for what I was looking for.
So later on, I found a library named slop that is very nice, and works well, but not 100% of what I was looking for.
When I read the Bundler source code, I found Thor, and finally found the proper parser for me, but I will not use it in this version.
I find it very interesting how writing something like a framework takes different way of thinking then normal program.
It is very important to emphasize that at the time of writing this post, my code is still not ready, and many basic things are not implemented, and the core is constantly rewritten. But the next post will be about v0.1 that is ready 🙂