Building a Static Site Generator

By Thane on Wed 06 July 2016

I'm quite proud to say that, even though it's a product in a pretty saturated market, I've finally published my first open source project: Statik. Yes, it's another static web site generator, but one big difference is that I built it with my own hands, so I know how to shape and mould it to pretty much any need. Making things myself, being part of the process, really appeals to my inner hipster

Why another static site generator?

This is one I've answered on Statik's web site, but I think what it comes down to is the desire for a greater degree of control.

Technically, I can now write Python code and SQLAlchemy ORM queries to get hold of my data. Model/table structures are defined in YAML files and model instances are defined in either YAML or Markdown formats instead of being stuck with an architecture that's geared towards building blogs. I can now build pretty much any kind of static site, and the various components provided by Statik, such as the ORM and the templating engine, speed up the development of static sites significantly.

I've even re-themed my personal blog, and this very site has proudly been generated using Statik - there's nothing like using your own product to refine its ease of use.

Still to come

There are many, many features yet to come. Statik is still very much in beta at the moment, but I'm really glad to see that I've got a handful of 's on GitHub so far. It's encouraging in terms of producing new features. But I'm involved in several projects that will potentially require static web sites, so I'm regularly improving Statik as I personally need new features.

Some of the really cool features still to come include:

  • Themes: I'm going to be working on a section of the Statik web site that'll be dedicated to offering free themes licensed under various Creative Commons licenses.
  • CMS: For those who have a Statik theme already, I'm planning on building a CMS interface that'll allow one to create and manage instances in a similar way to how Django does it with its admin interface.
  • Workflows: To speed up the process of publishing your static site to your server.
  • Plugins: A plugin infrastructure for Statik such that you can, for example, use new filters and extensions in your templates.
  • Many minor features: Such as a simplified approach to paging, various integrations (like with Disqus, Google Analytics, Piwik, etc.), and more.

Contributing

Feel free to drop me suggestions and recommendations in the comments here, or open up an issue at the GitHub repo if you want a particular enhancement or feature and I'll see if I can get around to adding it ASAP.

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