A Jekyll blog might be more complicated than
other approaches but it also offers high
flexibility and many features.

You can install it yourself with:

gem install jekyll

Note

OSX users might need to update their RubyGems:

sudo gem update -system

Additionally there are many other options:

  • Using rdiscount or maruku
  • Using pygments for syntax highlighting
  • and this list could go on and on due to an amazing community support

For more information check the Jekyll Wiki

Posting

Posting with Jekyll doesn’t involve a nice interface but is still a lot more simple than other methods.

You can post with Markdown like me or use an alternative.

Editing gets even better if you are on a Mac and you use a nice markdown editor like Mou

This is how my Jekyll folder tree looks like:

root/
    _includes/
        disqus.html
        ...
    _layouts/
        default.html
        post.html
    _plugins/
        *.rb
    _posts/
        *.markdown
    _site/
        ...
    css/
        styles.css
        syntax.css
    images/
        twitter.png
        rss.png
        github.png
    javascript/
        ...

This might seem intimidating initially but after you’ve wrapped your head around it should be easy to understand.

_includes

You can place any .html files in here and then include them anywhere you want with the following tag:

{ % include FILE_NAME.html % }

This is especially helpful if you want to example use Disqus in your blog. I’ve included the javascript code in a disqus.html file and whenever I want to use it I can simply include it with the above tag.

_layouts

The files in here are going to be the basic building blocks of your site. At the top of this post:

layout: post

therefore i access the post.html file in _layouts.
That post.html file is based of a default.html file. Therefore I don’t have to worry about any CSS or HTML after the site has been set up once.

_posts

All your posts go in here. Look at the end of this post to see how I have written this post.

Automatic Post Generation

thanks to Cody Krieger

Cody Krieger wrote a small little script:

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#!/usr/bin/env ruby

# *********************************************
# Jekyll Post Generator Awesomeness
# by Cody Krieger (http://codykrieger.com)
# *********************************************

# Usage:
# % ./newpost.rb POST NAME

if ARGV.empty? or ARGV[0].downcase == "--help" or ARGV[0].downcase == "-h"
  puts <<-USAGE

  Usage:
  % ./newpost.rb POST NAME

  USAGE

  exit (ARGV.empty? ? 1 : 0)
end

class String

  # from ruby on rails (https://github.com/rails/rails)
  # activesupport/lib/active_support/inflector/transliterate.rb
  def parameterize(sep = '-')
    # replace accented chars with their ascii equivalents
    parameterized_string = self.dup
    # Turn unwanted chars into the separator
    parameterized_string.gsub!(/[^a-z0-9\-_]+/i, sep)
    unless sep.nil? || sep.empty?
      re_sep = Regexp.escape(sep)
      # No more than one of the separator in a row.
      parameterized_string.gsub!(/#{re_sep}{2,}/, sep)
      # Remove leading/trailing separator.
      parameterized_string.gsub!(/^#{re_sep}|#{re_sep}$/i, '')
    end
    parameterized_string.downcase
  end

end

TEMPLATE = "template.markdown"
POSTS_DIR = "_posts"

# Get the title and use it to derive the new filename
title = ARGV.join(" ")
filename = "#{Time.now.strftime('%Y-%m-%d')}-#{title.parameterize}.markdown"
filepath = File.join(POSTS_DIR, filename)

# Load in the template and set the title
post_text = File.read(TEMPLATE)
post_text.gsub!('%%TITLE%%', title)

# Write out the post
post_file = File.open(filepath, 'w')
post_file.puts post_text
post_file.close

puts "Successfully created file => #{filepath}"

Execution:

./newpost.rb Test Post

chmod u+x newpost.rb might be needed in order for the script to be executable.

The script is going to look for a file named template.markdown in you Jekyll root directory.
This template is a basic Jekyll post that you have to fill in with your content.

---
layout: post
title: %%TITLE%%
published: true
---
Hello, Jekyll!

more on this can be found at Cody’s Blog

\( \LaTeX \)

And if you are a Physics Lover like me you can easily embed Maxwell’s equations with LaTeX.

\[ \begin{aligned} \nabla \times \vec{\mathbf{B}} -\, \frac1c\, \frac{\partial\vec{\mathbf{E}}}{\partial t} & = \frac{4\pi}{c}\vec{\mathbf{j}} \\ \nabla \cdot \vec{\mathbf{E}} & = 4 \pi \rho \\ \nabla \times \vec{\mathbf{E}}\, +\, \frac1c\, \frac{\partial\vec{\mathbf{B}}}{\partial t} & = \vec{\mathbf{0}} \\ \nabla \cdot \vec{\mathbf{B}} & = 0 \end{aligned} \]

or you can do some in-line implementations for example here : \( P(E) = {n \choose k} p^k (1-p)^{ n-k } \) or if you have a long paragraph in another line \( 0_{2} - 1_{2} \) so you can make your posts - whatever they might be about - look really fancy and nice.

Using Latex like this takes a little more than just writing down normal latex code but I am going to cover that in another post. But basically I am just using the MathJax library with some configuration changes.

Check out my tutorial on how I did it!

\( \LaTeX \) Math Magic

Post Scriptum

The best thing is that you can just use Github Pages to deploy your blog:

git push origin master

It is as simple as that and you are all set!

Check out the original markdown of this post here.