Friday, January 28, 2011

Nanoc and Static Web Sites

A few days ago we looked at Webby for generating static web sites. I had a couple of issues with it, including the fact that it didn't work with ruby 1.9.2 and it hasn't been updated for a couple of years now. Someone on the Ramaze email list suggested that I should take a look at nanoc too. It seems to have many of the same features as webby, but is actively maintained and runs on ruby 1.9.2. So let's take a look at getting it up, running, and generating a site. First, we'll need to add a few gems ...

gem install nanoc
gem install kramdown
gem install adsf

Here we're installing nanoc itself, kramdown, which is a Markdown converter, and adsf, which is used as a web server for showing the site.

With that out of the way, let's go ahead and create a new site ...

nanoc create_site my_site

This should create a new site in the directory my_site that has a few different files and directories. Go ahead and cd into the directory and then

nanoc compile

which should "compile" the site. In this case, compile will create an output directory where the resulting HTML files will reside. OK, now we can start a web server with

nanoc view

and then point our browser at http://localhost:3000. At this point you should see the default site for nanoc. For viewing, you could also use

nanoc autocompile

which will also compile a file when changes are made to the site automatically. For "real" work, this is probably the option to use.

OK, let's take a look at the content directory. This is where nanoc will keep the files that will get compiled and moved to the output directory. Go ahead and open up content/index.html in your favorite text editor and make a few changes. Go back to the browser, reload, and you should see your changes there. Now, take a look at layout/default.html. If you make a change in there, say adding an h1 tag before the h2 Documentation tag, it will appear in all the pages that are generated.

Finally, we're going to need to add new pages if this is going to be useful. Try this ...

nanoc create_item test

This will create a test.htnml in the content directory and when it gets compiled, you should be able to go to http://localhost:3000/test/ (don't forget the final "/") and see the page. A couple of things to note here. In the output directory, this will be output/test/index.html.

This should be enough to get you started. Definitely check out the nanoc site for more information. I'm going to use this to generate a personal site, so I'll let you know how it goes and what good/bad things I see.

Let me know if you have questions or comments.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ruby and Rational Numbers

Here's a problem over on Programming Praxis that for whatever reason I wasn't having much luck posting there. Their loss, your gain ;-). Here's the code ...

class Fraction

attr_reader :n, :d

def initialize(n, d)
raise "Can't have zero denominator." if d == 0

n, d = -n, -d if d < 0

g = n.gcd(d)
if g == 1
@n = n
@d = d
@n = n / g
@d = n / g

def plus(f)*f.d)+(@d*f.n), @d*f.d)

def minus(f)*f.d)-(@d*f.n), @d*f.d)

def times(f)*f.n, @d*f.d)

def divide(f)*f.d, @d*f.n)

def to_s

f1 =, 3)
f2 =, 7)
puts "#{f1} + #{f2} = #{}"
puts "#{f1} + #{f2} = #{f1.minus(f2)}"
puts "#{f1} + #{f2} = #{f1.times(f2)}"
puts "#{f1} + #{f2} = #{f1.divide(f2)}"

Nothing too awfully complex here, but if you have questions, let me know.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Webby and Static Web Sites

I was trying to figure out recently how to build a static site with Ramaze and didn't really come up with anything, but someone pointed me in the direction of Webby that's designed with just this use case in mind. It seems pretty cool, so I thought I'd document how to get it up and running on Ubuntu.

First I tried just doing a gem install, but that didn't work because I'm using ruby 1.9.2 so ...

rvm install 1.8.7

to get the right ruby (assuming you're using rvm to manage this). Then, you'll need to set the correct ruby with

rvm 1.8.7

to add the following gems for ruby 1.8.7

gem install webby
gem install RedCloth

The RedCloth gem is needed for the default, but if you decide to use a different templating system, you don't need to install it.

OK, let's create a web site now.

webby-gen website my_site

There should now be a directory called my_site with a few different directories. Now you can

cd my_site

and this should create a new directory called output with some HTML files and the css for the site. If you modify the file index.txt in the content directory, and then rerun the webby command, you should see the output/index.html change.

Since you've been reading this blog, you probably have a pretty good idea of how templating works, so there really shouldn't be too much here that you haven't seen in general even if you haven't looked at the RedCloth templating. webby also supports a number of other templating systems that you can use by setting a filter in the content file. This is documented in the User Manual.

To be honest, I just started looking at this today, so I'm not sure how much help I'm going to be with questions, but let me know if you have any and I'll give them a shot.