A Jekyll test site with no particular purpose.

Site documentation

Last modified:
1144 Words
By Alex Vie | Tue, 12. 09 2017, 11:42
Reading time: approx. 4 minute(s).

The following is meant to be a cheat sheet for the site owner. It documents various template fragments (includes) and outlines conventions that are valid site-wide.

Browser compatibility

The theme should be compatible with all modern browsers that are not older than about 2 years, including Firefox, Opera, all Chromium-derived browser, Internet Explorer 11, Edge, Safari and basically all modern mobile browsers. It does use CSS3 features and things like hyphenation, sticky positions and advanced font rendering properties, but these are optional. The site does not depend on such features.

Javascript usage.

Usage of Javascript is moderate and depends on jQuery (which is included). It’s used for dynamically loading side bar content via Ajax requests and UX enhancements like tool tips and hidden spoiler content. It’s also used for converting time stamps into relative (“ago”) format and the fancybox image and gallery viewer.


  • all file names should be all-lowercase. This applies to template fragment in _includes as well as for all kind of embed able content (images, style sheets, scripts).

  • The template includes for embedding images assume that all media resides below assets/gfx. File names must be relative to this location, file names, including sub-folders and extensions, should be all-lowercase. It is possible, though not recommended, to specify the prefix explicitly as a parameter for gfx/BD.html and gfx/FD.html.

  • menu templates for entire menu systems are expected in _includes/menus. The site_header template expects the parameter as base name only, without the .HTML extension and the path prefix.

  • menu templates for (optional) pull down menus must be in _includes/menus/custom. Other than that, all the rules listed for menu systems apply here. The custom menu name must be passed to the site header template as custom_menu parameter, but may be an empty string in which case no optional menu will be rendered.

URL schemes

Most posts, articles and automated lists (tags, categories) use the pretty scheme with the document, category or tag name as a sub folder and the document itself using index.html. The exception of this rule are site documents like /help/contact.html for example.

The site is designed both protocol- and base path agnostic. The variable is always used, so it should be easy to transfer the entire site to a prefixed url (e.g. to

Collection and category root folders must have a sbar.html document with front matter. This will define the dynamically retrieved (via ajax requests) side bar when using the modern layout without a static side bar. Consequently, it should list related documents in the same category / collection. The implementation simply includes sidebar/dyn_cat_list.html and sidebar/dyn_topic_list.html respectively, passing the category or topic name as parameter.

Frontmatter variables for posts and articles

The following variables are supported

  • first - This is mandatory and must be set as a TAG for all posts and pages that should appear in listings and indexes. Basically, every page should have this tag unless it’s either hidden or a followup page that should not appear in listings or indexes.

  • disqus - Set to 1 if disqus should be embedded for the article/post.

  • share - Set to 1 if a share bar should appear below the content.

  • menucontext - which entry of the menu bar should be highlighted. Can be home, about, contact, blog, topics or got. Defaults to ‘blog’.

  • share_url - will be used instead of page.url when present. Useful for followup pages when the first page should be the target to share.

  • reduced - if present, the content will be wrapped in a DIV element using the CSS classes reduced foo where foo is the value of the variable in the front matter.

    Example: reduced: big will result in the content being wrapped in a <div class="reduced big">. The CSS definitions should be in content.css. It’s useful to wrap the content in DIVs for adding margins and padding to reduce the maximum text width for better readability.

  • wrapperclass - CSS class(es) added to the #content-wrapper DIV element. Can be useful to set custom backgrounds.

  • header - Custom header block. Default is headers/default.html. The name must be given without path and extension, so header: foo will include headers/foo.html as the header block. Note that this is only the top header bar without the menu, but including the site title and contact button bar.

  • modified - mandatory time stamp of last modification. Can be the same as date. This is always used to sort lists and indexes, so it’s required. Always. Format must be ISO.

  • date - date of first publishing. Mandatory for all content without the date specified in the file name, so basically for everything except blog posts. Must be in ISO format.

Disqus thread identifier

This identifier is built from the author’s name and the post’s date (the date: variable, not the modified: time). For followup pages, it is therefore important to have the exact same author name and post date.

Image handling

The main includes for embedding images are gfx/FD.html (for floating images aligned to the left or right) and gfx/BD.html for block images taking usually the full width. The includes accept the following parameters:

  • image: A data element, either in or in the page itself. The element is required to have the following fields:

    • name: The name of the image, without path name but including its extension. Case sensitive on some systems.

    • path: The path relative to the base, which is assets/gfx unless otherwise specified (see below). Must end with a / character.

    • desc: A short description that will appear below the image and as ALT text.

    • long: Optional - when present, a info symbol will be overlaid over the image. Hovering it will reveal a tool tip with the long description. This can be markdown text and will be fed through the markdownify filter.

    • url: For linked images, the URL of the image. When present, name and path will be ignored.

    • thumb: For local images only (does not worked for linked images using url). When set to 1, a thumbnail version of the image is expected to exist in the same folder, prefixed with thumb_.

  • align The alignment, either left or right. Only for FD.html (floating images).

  • width The width of the image, including the unit. Example: “250px” or “50%”.

  • prefix The file system prefix when the default (assets/gfx) should not be used for whatever reason.

  • nolink Can be set to 1, if the embedded image should not link to the full size version. This will disable the fancybox link, so the image won’t be view-able in full size.

  • omitbottomcaption Do not show the caption below the image. It will still be set as ALT text.