genhtml — Static HTML Inserts for Website Files

This is the home of genhtml, a Python script used to construct most of the web pages published at this site. With genhtml, site-wide updates are easy, because common page components are split off to automatic inserts and referenced by name.

This page describes genhtml's roles and mechanics, and provides download links. If you're looking for a quick example of genhtml in action, check out the template of the page you are viewing; one of the inserts it references; and its genhtml expansion. To dive right in, read the docstring of the script, and find genhtml's usage in this site's master publishing utility. And for the full story, read on here.

Overview

This Python 3.X program provides basic HTML macro functionality. It replaces keys in a folder's HTML-template files with the content of correspondingly named insert files. The net effect automatically updates static web pages when any common content they share is changed. Among its features, this program has:

Automatic dependency tracking
HTML files are regenerated whenever—and only when—their templates or any inserts they use have changed
Configurable Unicode support
Encodings in a sequence are tried in turn for each HTML template file
One-level nested inserts
Insert files can insert other insert files for added flexibility
Automatic generation-date insertion
Built-in date keys support multiple formats

This script addresses only static content: common text that can change over time, but need not be generated on each new page request. For such content, though, this program is a simple alternative to:

Besides its utility, this program uses and requires only Python 3.X, runs on any platform that Python 3.X supports (including most PCs and smartphones), and illustrates a typical role for Python code in content-creation pipelines.

Resources

See the main script's docstring and other items below for usage details.

Code and docs:

Example:

Usage:

Download

Use the following to fetch genhtml, or view its unzipped content.

This program was last changed: December 2018.

Recent upgrades: genhtml now handles .* Mac/Unix cruft files in inserts and templates folders. This includes both .DS_Store Finder files, and any ._* AppleDouble resource-fork files on non-Mac drives. Both are skipped in inserts to avoid errors, but are simply copied like other non-HTML in templates because more may crop up before site publication; filter later with your zip or upload tools (e.g., -skipcruft in ziptools).

For more code examples, see the programs page.



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