Dissertron build notes

by Sebastian Benthall

I’m going to start building the Dissertron now. These are my notes.

  • I’m going with Hyde as a static site generator on Nick Doty‘s recommendation. It appears to be tracking Jekyll in terms of features, but squares better with my Python/Django background (it uses Jinja2 templates in its current, possibly-1.0-but-under-development version). Meanwhile, at Berkeley we seem to be investing a lot in Python as the language of scientific computing. If scientists skills should be transferrable to their publication tool, this seems like the way to go.
  • Documentation for Hyde is a bit scattered. This first steps guide is sort of helpful, and then there are these docs hosted on Github. As mentioned, they’ve moved away from Django templates to Jinja2, which is similar but less idiosyncratic. They refer you to the Jinja2 docs here for templating.
  • Just trying to make a Hello World type site, I ran into an issue with Markdown rendering. I’ve filed an issue with the project, and will use it as a test of the community’s responsiveness. Since Hyde is competing with a lot of other Python static site generators, it’s kind of nice to bump into this kind of thing early.
  • Got this response from the creator of Hyde in less than 3 hours. Problem was with my Jinja2 fu (which is weak at the moment)–turns out I have a lot to learn about Whitespace Control. Super positive community experience. I’ll stick with Hyde.
  • “Hello World” intact and framework chosen, my next step is to convert part 2 of my Weird Twitter work to Markdown and use Hyde’s tools to give it some decent layout. If I can make some headway on the citation formating and management in the process, so much the better.
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